Indiana State Teachers Association pushing back against bill limiting teachers in classroom

Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 5:26 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Indiana State Teachers Association is speaking out against an education bill that would limit what is taught in the classroom.

“The groundswell around this bill has been unlike anything I have seen before,” ISTA President Keith Gambell says.

Nearly one week after the House voted in favor for House Bill 1134, Gambell is giving every reason why the Senate should vote against it.

“We will begin working with them and making our case for why this is this is not the direction we should be heading as it relates to education in Indiana,” Gambell says.

As written, the bill would ban schools from talking about topics like race and racism, or any lesson plan that may make students feel any type of “discomfort, guilt, anguish, responsibility or any form of psychological distress.”

The bill would also restrict what teachers can say including “presenting any form of racial or sex stereotyping or blame on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or pollical affiliation.”

The bill also allows parents to choose to remove their children from lesson plans if they feel they’re inappropriate. However, if the bill passes, Gambell says teachers are already preparing to walk away from their jobs.

“Those that are in mid career and in early career have contacted and said I have already started looking for jobs outside of this profession if this is the direction Indiana is going to go,” Gambell says.

While the goal for Gambell is to give all students a great education, he says passing HB 1134 would steer the future of education in the Hoosier state in a direction the state may not be able to turn back from.

“Legislature is creating a system that is driving people away from the profession. If we want to ensure a world-class education for our students, we have to have world-class educators in the system to make sure that happens. This is going the wrong direction,” Gambell says.

House Bill 1134 is expected to be heard in the Senate within the next 10 to 14 days.

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