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DeLaney: The state legislature wants our children to be the opposite of ‘woke’—they want our students to be intellectually asleep

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INDIANAPOLIS- Today, House Committee on Education member State Representative Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) released the following statement on the second reading passage of House Bill 1134:

“House Bill 1134 is a blatant attempt to burden our schools and families while eroding free speech. 

“Our already overwhelmed teachers will face additional burdens and fears of state sanctions including fines or loss of licensure because a subject makes students (or their parents) uncomfortable. Just because history can make us uncomfortable doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it. There is nothing about racism that should be comfortable. That doesn't mean we are making students feel personally guilty for past atrocities, but they should question why it exists and what they should do to eliminate its effects. This bill would prevent that. 

“Hoosiers will be burdened by this bill. Children will be deprived of the knowledge that comes with a comprehensive and accurate education when teachers are stifled because of fears of punishment from going off script. The legislature has already chipped away, or rather hacked away, at public education funding. Now we are depriving our Hoosier children of an understanding of our country, making them ill-equipped to deal with the real world. 

“Perhaps most importantly, this bill burdens our democratic value of free speech. The legislature is now enforcing a gag order on our schools based on what version of history they believe should or should not be taught. We already saw the national uproar the companion bill SB 167 faced in the Senate, yet we are allowing this same language to live on in the House.  

“Our students must be taught comprehensive and accurate history, with all the uncomfortable parts, or they will fall behind. The state legislature wants our children to be the opposite of ‘woke.’ They want our students to be intellectually asleep.”

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