Indiana lawmakers debate how to teach race in schools

Aleksandra Appleton

Excerpt: Proponents and opponents squared off Wednesday over a sweeping bill to regulate how Indiana schools teach about race and racism. The hearing, the first of likely many about Senate Bill 167, covered the basics of the bill and included several hours of testimony. It would ban educators from teaching eight specific ideas, would give parents a say in regulating curriculum, and would require schools to post lessons and materials online.

The bill echoes the measures other conservative-led states have taken to excise from classrooms discussion about race. Its proponents argue that it would codify parental say over what their children learn in school, and would prevent the teaching of divisive ideas and political ideologies. Criticism of the bill ranged from its detailed requirements — like the burden on teachers to post lesson plans and materials online — to the chilling effect it could have on teaching and learning the history of racism.