Indiana senate kills controversial education bill; relieves some educators, parents

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ELKHART, Ind. --- Indiana’s controversial House Bill 1134 died in the senate Monday, with some local teachers, parents, and city leaders relieved that it did.

The republican backed bill aimed to increase transparency in the classroom and would have banned divisive concepts and could limit teachings about race, sex, and religion.

The controversial bill sparked heavy pushback from some teachers, parents, and city leaders and those ABC57 spoke with said they were relieved this bill died on the senate floor.

 “I felt like it would hinder the education of my children so for me it’s a huge relief,” said Janine Doot, a parent of five, with four of them attending Elkhart Community schools.

“House Bill 1134 along with a lot of the legislation this session was really another target, another attack on public education, so the fact the bill is dead sort of solidifies our argument as teachers that it was a bad bill to begin with,” added Elkhart High School Teacher Krista Riblet,

Parents like Doot and teachers like Riblet were openly against Indiana House Bill 1134.

The bill would have banned several "divisive concepts" and given more power over curriculum and classroom activities to parents.

"It was asking us to avoid topics that made people feel uncomfortable and that's part of what an education is, you sometimes step out of your comfort zone and see something from another perspective and that's how you grow as a human being,” explained Riblet.

“The biggest thing that my kids can have in education is learning differences, learning about history, learning about differences of people and culture and just having true language taught to them,” added Doot.

Doot was among many across the state that feared the bill could limit curriculum about race, sex, and diversity which is why she was even considering pulling her kids out of school if it passed.

“They have to be challenged, they have to learn to disagree and as a parent you also have to help them in that process and so for me I just figured if you’re going to take it away then I can just do it myself, I have the ability," she added.

Elkhart councilman Dwight Fish also joined several other local city leaders in Indianapolis to speak out against the bill.

 “The voices were loud, the voices were strong and they heard it down at the statehouse and said okay let’s pull this thing. Let’s rethink it, let’s see how we can support education instead of chipping away at it,” he said.

ABC57 did reach out to local senator Linda Rogers who backed the bill, but she was not available for comment Tuesday.

Lawmakers have said they are still considering putting pieces of the language into another bill moving forward but they did not specify when or what parts.

Fish and Riblet also added the conversation needs to include legislators, teacher, and parents to provide the best education for students.


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