HB 1134 is a classroom censorship bill introduced as part of a nationwide effort to limit how students can learn and talk about race and sex discrimination in public schools.

This bill prohibits public schools and employees from including concepts related to an individual's sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation, as part of educational curriculum and activities. These restrictions will effectively erase the history and lived experiences of marginalized communities by censoring discussion around racism, sexism and the role it has played in American history.

Additionally, HB 1134 limits teachers and prospective teachers from engaging in professional development and training that presents topics of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation. This will impair teachers’ ability to create an inclusive classroom environment for students of color and support the growth and development of their identities. Furthermore, schools may not provide a student with, or refer a student to services for mental, social-emotional, or psychological health issues without written consent from the student’s parent. 

This bill requires the creation of an advisory curriculum board composed of mostly parents to review and approve curriculum material to be used in the classroom. HB 1134 creates additional workload for teachers and extra expenses for underfunded Indiana public schools by requiring the postage of all curricular material and activities online. In addition, giving parents the ability to opt in or opt out of prepared curriculum will further require teachers to modify their lesson plans to accommodate those students.

HB 1134 opens public schools to lawsuits by allowing any individual that believes that the provisions of these bills were violated to bring a civil action. HB 1134 allows the Secretary of Education to revoke the license of a teacher, principal or superintendent for violating the requirements of this bill.

HB 1134 prevents teachers from doing their jobs and rob young people of an inclusive education and a healthy school environment. The vagueness of this bill will effectively chill discourse and instruction in Indiana classrooms.

*NOTE: SB 167 was a copycat version of HB 1134, but is no longer being considered in the Senate.
 

Authors

Rep. Anthony Cook

Status

Passed committee

Bill number

Position

Oppose