Yesterday the Indiana Senate killed House Bill 1134. The bill was aimed at banning or limiting conversations on “divisive concepts” like race, religion, sexuality, and gender.
Proponents of the bill say that it would give parents more input and guarantee that students were not being made to feel responsible or uncomfortable in the classroom. Opponents said that the bill would stifle important conversations and limit the ability of teachers to accurately teach history.
This bill mirrors other bills that have been passed in other states. The bill was thought to be Indiana’s response to the national critical race theory conversation, though the bill didn’t explicitly mention it.
HB 1134 faced fierce opposition from teachers, students, and stakeholders from the communities of color. In response, the bill had already been watered down by an earlier amendment. Republicans do have a supermajority in Indiana but Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville says he didn’t have the necessary votes to move forward with the bill.
“At the end of the day, this one was difficult to move for lots of different reasons,” said Bray. “We had some members of our caucus who felt like it didn’t go far enough. We had some members of our caucus who felt like it was too much of a burden on education.”
A similar such bill died earlier this year in the senate.
The debate is not over. Republicans have said that they may address some of the topics in this bill by putting specific parts in other legislation.