Dear Chairman Raatz and Members of the Education and Career Development Committee,

The ACLU of Indiana rises to express its opposition to HB 1134. This classroom censorship bill is part of a nationwide effort to limit how students can learn and talk about race and sex discrimination in public schools.

At its core, HB 1134 is meant to silence teachers and students from having open and honest conversations on racism and sex discrimination. The bill is still alive, even after receiving negative attention at the state and national level, because lawmakers want to censor these important discussions. This amendment, while watering the language down, continues to send a dangerous message to teachers and students, particularly students of color, that racism and sex discrimination are too taboo to be talked about in schools.

The bill still adds more hurdles for teachers and administrators in our already overburdened education system. The bill’s potentially contradictory language about what can and cannot be discussed in the classroom will still chill the speech of educators and students. Administrators, as we have already seen around the country, may unduly prohibit necessary and healthy discussion of America’s living history in their attempts to avoid grievances and confusion. Censorship has no place in Indiana. Censorship is unamerican.

It is for these reasons, the ACLU of Indiana urges members of the House Education Committee to oppose HB 1134.