Southern Indiana Back to School

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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- In Indiana, Republican state lawmakers are working on a bill they say increases transparency around school curriculums.

Senate Bill 167 would restrict teaching about racism or political topics in the classroom. It would also require that learning materials be vetted by parent review committees.

The bill is opposed by many Indiana teachers, including the Greater Clark Education Association's president, Mark Felix.

"Telling us we can't teach things that are part of the real world, aren't we sort of putting our head in the sand and saying these things don't exist? We have to educate our kids so they can make a better world," said Felix. "How are we going to do that if we deprive them that without learning the very facts of life? It's ridiculous."

A New Albany Floyd County School Board Member is also opposed to SB 167.

But, she says that's because the district already has similar policies in place, that would make the bill redundant.

"Policy 2240, where parents can opt out. If there's a curriculum, which they would already have access to look at, if there's a lesson or curriculum they don't like for their child, they can write it out, give it to an administrator, and opt out, get a different assignment for their kid," said board member Lee Ann Wiseheart. "2261, a parent's right to know. We have a family involvement policy. My whole point is we have the policies in place that parents can get if they want and if it's not broken, I say don't put more on teachers." 

New Albany's Republican Representative Ed Clere voted against the bill in the House Education Committee. The vote was 8-5 where Clere joined Democrats in voting against it.

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