Tennessee Passes Bill that Withholds Funds from Schools Teaching About Systemic Racial Injustice
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on May 12, 2021 |
Well, well, well...
Tennessee lawmakers have just passed a bill that would withhold funding from schools teaching about systemic racial injustice and white privilege. That's right. Schools can potentially lose their funding if they decide to teach children the truth about the deep-rooted racism in this country. Check out the full story from WTVC full story from WTVC below:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill that would withhold funding from schools teaching about **** and white privilege.
HB 0580/SB 0623 officially cleared the General Assembly Wednesday, one of several to pass on the day lawmakers adjourned for the year.
The bill centers on restricting what concepts on institutional racism can be taught in school, and attracted some of the most impassioned debates.
While most of the majority-white **** caucuses in the House and Senate supported the effort, Black Democratic lawmakers warned the bill would make schools fearful to teach about the United States’ history on race.
“Critical race theory is rooted in critical theory, which argues that social problems are created and influenced by societal structures and cultural assumptions,” said state Sen. Katrina Robinson, a Black Democrat from Memphis. “How ironic that a body made up of a simple majority of white privileged men can determine whether even my grandchildren can see reflections of themselves in the history lessons at their school.”
A last minute addition to the critical race theory bill would ban schools from teaching students that “the rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups.”
“That is the very definition of critical race theory,” Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey, from Memphis, said. “I was subject to this teaching 20 years ago in law school and know it very well, and that is the very definition of it.”
Under an amendment by Rep.
John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), schools would not include the following subjects in their teaching curriculum or allow teachers to use supplemental materials that include the following concepts:
One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
An individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously;
An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the individual's race or sex;
An individual's moral character is determined by the individual's race or sex;
An individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual's race or sex;
A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist, or designed by a particular race or sex to oppress members of another race or sex;
This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist;
Promoting or advocating the **** overthrow of the United States government;
Promoting division between, or resentment of, a race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, social class, or class of people; or
Ascribing character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual's race or sex.
Earlier this week, Rep. Ragan described an email forwarded to him about a 7-year-old girl from Williamson County, who was upset after a discussion in her school.
"The little girl told her mother, 'I’m ashamed that I’m white.' The daughter then asked her mother, 'Is there something wrong with me? Why am I hated so much?'" Ragan said. "The 7-year-old is now in therapy. She is depressed, she doesn’t want to go to school."
"We as legislators and citizens must take a stand against hucksters, charlatans, and useful idiots pedaling identity politics," he said.
Some opponents of the amendment, like Hamilton County teacher and advocate Kendra Young, believe kids can be trusted to grapple with tough ideas. She says when she reads what's in this legislation, she hears fear.
"What I hear is fear. I hear adults that are afraid of ideas. I hear adults that are afraid of difficult conversations. I hear adults afraid of what might be learned about history," Young said.
"As a teacher, I can assure you that our children are so capable of having the difficult conversations that adults often find themselves incapable of," she added.
The amendment claims it would not stop schools from teaching about “the history of an ethnic group,” an impartial discussion of controversial aspects of history, impartial instruction on historical oppression of people, or relevant historical documents.
The measure says if the Education Commissioner finds out a school is knowingly in violation, the commissioner will withhold state funds from the school until the school provides evidence they are no longer in violation of the rule(s).
The legislation now heads to Gov. Bill Lee's desk for his signature.
Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
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