Madison – The state Assembly voted along party lines Tuesday to advance a controversial proposal that would limit how race and racism are taught in elementary, middle and high schools across Wisconsin, the Associated Press reported.
Teachers would be barred from giving lessons that convey that one race or sex is superior to another and that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for acts committed in the past by other individuals of the same race or sex.”
Under the Republican-backed plan, teachers would be barred from giving lessons that convey that one race or sex is superior to another. Districts or schools would lose 10% of their state aid distribution if the Department of Public Instruction determined the district or school had taught race or sex stereotyping or required prohibited employee training, according to Assembly Bill 411. The bill also creates a private enforcement mechanism that allows a parent or guardian to bring a court action against a district or charter school that teaches race or sex stereotyping or requires prohibited training.
“We don’t want schools to be misleading students and teaching things that they – perhaps a teacher – wants them to hear, as opposed to what is facts,” state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) said in a pre-session press conference, according to the Associated Press.
Democrats, during debate, said the bill was using the government to squash dissent and enforce laws that will punish people who say things the government doesn’t like. The bill has not been voted on in the Senate and could be vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers if approved by both chambers.