Education questions: does it make sense? | News

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Last week, the House of Representatives passed HB 1134-Education Matters. While the bill passed the House largely along 60-37 party lines, many educators on both sides of the aisle voted against it. He also faces more questions in the Senate before eventually heading to the governor’s office.

The bill, drafted by Rep. Anthony Cook, R-District 32, would prohibit a school from teaching certain concepts about race and ethnicity, and discourage teachers from discussing topics that could make students “uncomfortable.” comfortable or guilty”. The bill is similar to Senate Bill 167, which died in committee in January after the bill’s author, Sen. Scott Baldwin, R-Noblesville, made national headlines for supporting that teachers should not openly oppose Nazi ideology in the classroom.

Cook, former principal of Noblesville High School and superintendent of the Hamilton Heights School Corporation, said parents should have a say in what their children learn. That’s why, he said, teachers and schools would be required to post program activities on the school’s website, giving parents the option to remove their child from certain activities and lessons. This, Wolley said, will make it difficult for children to understand the world around them as they get older.

The proposed bill has caused a lot of concern from many Indiana educators and parents.

A parent’s concern said the bill would severely limit the historical leaders their student can learn about at school. Recently, their student wrote a report on Mrs. CJ Walker, business owner and first black woman to become a millionaire. The report presented facts about racism and ethnicity that would no longer be allowed to be discussed in class.

The relative said: ‘The way this law is set could potentially erase Mrs Walker, because how does Mrs CJ Walker exist outside the context of racism and the obstacles she has had to overcome?

In addition to limiting what educators can teach in the classroom, this bill would also require a school employee to obtain parental consent to discuss social and emotional health with their students.

A section of the bill reads: “Provides that a student shall not be required to participate in any personal analysis, assessment, or investigation that reveals or attempts to affect attitudes, habits, traits, opinions , beliefs or feelings of the student without the help of his parents. consent.”

Shawnta Barnes, a longtime educator and educational consultant, fears the bill will make it difficult for students in need of counseling or other emotional assistance to get help. Plus, it could make it difficult, she said, for teachers to help their students succeed.


“When kids trust you, they’ll tell you things,” Barnes said. “And sometimes, like when it comes to suicidal thoughts or things that might hurt them, that confidence can help you help them. When children feel close to you and trust you, they know you care, which can lead to greater academic success. When I can connect with students, I can get them to try, even when the work is tough. »

The bill has recently sparked numerous conversations on social media with local educators and parents speaking out against the bill.

The News-Gazette wants to shed light on the bill and the concerns of those it impacts. We recently spoke with co-author JD Prescott, House Representative for District 33 and Randolph County resident, about the proposed bill.

Responding to vocal voters on social media, Prescott urged those with concerns to call him personally.

The News-Gazette wants to take the conversation a little further. Prescott agreed to answer our readers’ and staff’s questions about House Bill 1134 in an article titled “Education Matters: Does it Make Sense?”

The News-Gazette invites readers to send their questions and comments on this bill only at this time. Staff will select from these submitted items and present them to Prescott for their response.

If you would like to submit a question or comment to possibly present to Prescott, please email: [email protected] by Thursday, February 10, 2022. Selected comments will be published in The News-Gazette on February 17 . , 2022.

If you have any other questions about this bill or other topics you’d like to ask Prescott, he will hold a town hall meeting Feb. 19 at 9 a.m. at the Randolph County Fairgrounds.

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