With House File 802, students will still be taught the highly destructive and far left ideas of “social justice” and Critical Race Theory (CRT). Individuals and organizations who are telling parents that this Bill will prohibit these ideas from being in the classroom are either purposefully misleading their followers and fans, have not read the Bill, or most likely are not qualified to be discussing issues on educating the next generation of Americans. While it may prohibit one or two features, the most destructive aspects of CRT are not banned by this Bill. Radical leftist teachers may use this Bill to argue that CRT is actually required to foster a “respectful” environment, not infringe on first amendment rights, and not “[discriminate] against students or employees by political ideology.” The language used to describe CRT is often inaccurate and does not reflect the theory, further allowing teachers to find their way around this Bill. It also must be noted that this Bill does not apply to private schools, or educational organizations and institutions that are not publicly funded.
For perspective: If you were told that you were prohibited from teaching about America’s virtues, values, and/or capitalism, for example, wouldn’t you be able to find a way around it?
*In the following chart, we write from the perspective of an educator determined to teach CRT. The arguments made in response to the Bill do not reflect the ideas or perspective of The Locke Society. Also, banning CRT does not reflect The Locke Society’s solution.
|TEXT FROM THE BILL (bolded sections emphasized for the purpose of this article)
|2. Each school district may continue training that fosters a workplace and learning environment that is respectful of all employees and students. However, the superintendent of each school district shall ensure that any curriculum or mandatory staff or student training provided by an employee of the school district or by a contractor hired by the school district does not teach, advocate, act upon, or promote divisive concepts. This subsection shall not be construed as preventing an employee or contractor who teaches any curriculum or who provides mandatory training from responding to questions regarding divisive concepts raised by participants in the training.
|(1) How is “respectful” being defined here? Is it not disrespectful to ignore the struggles and oppression of People of Color? In order to have a “respectful” environment, we must recognize the lived experiences of all participants.
(2) All I need to do is ask a question regarding Critical Race Theory/”social justice” and then we can talk about it? Can the administrator prepare presentations in response to potential questions should they arise, then use that presentation as a response to the question? Can a facilitator use strategies such as Question Formulation Technique (QFT) to promote the asking of critical thinking questions?
|3. School district diversity and inclusion efforts shall discourage students of the school district from discriminating against another by color, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, political ideology, or any other characteristic protected under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub. L. No. 88-352, as amended, and applicable state law. Each school district shall prohibit its employees from discriminating against students or employees by color, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, political ideology, or any other characteristic protected under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub. L. No. 88-352, as amended, and applicable state law.
|(1) If students speak along the tenets of Critical Race Theory, the teacher must allow them to speak and cannot treat their participation in class differently from other students because of the political ideology with which they affiliate themselves. In making and defending claims, students must be able to align their writing to their political ideology which is likely to have influenced their claim.
|4. This section shall not be construed to do any of the following:
a. Inhibit or violate the first amendment rights of students or faculty, or undermine a school district’s duty to protect to the fullest degree intellectual freedom and free expression. The intellectual vitality of students and faculty shall not be infringed under this section.
b. Prevent a school district from promoting racial, cultural, ethnic, intellectual, or academic diversity or inclusiveness, provided such efforts are consistent with the provisions of this section, chapter 216, and other applicable law.
c. Prohibit discussing divisive concepts as part of a larger course of academic instruction.
d. Create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the state of Iowa, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
e. Prohibit a state or federal court or agency of competent jurisdiction from ordering a training or remedial action containing discussions of divisive concepts as a remedial action due to a finding of discrimination, including discrimination based on race or sex.
|(a) Students are protected by the First Amendment and it is the “school district’s duty to protect to the fullest degree intellectual freedom and free expression.” Students are able to pursue knowledge they seek, and express that knowledge throughout their academic career.
(b) How can a school district promote intellectual or academic diversity or inclusiveness when it attempts to prohibit alternating perspectives? How is inclusiveness being defined?
(c) Critical Race Theory/”social justice” are not classes on their own; they are only part of multiple perspectives brought into the larger classes of American and World History, etc.
(e) Therapy will still be required if an action is deemed racist.
|5. Student editors of official school publications shall assign and edit the news, editorial, and feature content of their publications subject to the limitations of this section. Journalism advisers of students producing official school publications shall supervise the production of the student staff, in order to maintain professional standards of English and journalism, and to comply with this section.
|What are the limitations? This Bill protects First Amendment rights, and prohibits discrimination based on political ideology.
|6A. A public school employee or official, acting within the scope of the person’s professional ethics, if any, shall not be dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred, subject to termination or nonrenewal of a teaching contract issued under section 279.13 or an extracurricular contract issued under section 279.19A, or otherwise retaliated against for acting to protect a student for engaging in conduct authorized under this section, or refusing to infringe upon student conduct that is protected by this section, the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or Article I, section 7, of the Constitution of the State of Iowa.
|Can a teacher be terminated if they infringe on first amendment rights or discriminate against students based on political ideology? If a student wishes to speak to CRT, I cannot be fired for protecting their right to do so as per the First Amendment and other citations in this Bill?
The only true solution to the problems we face is to inspire freedom loving Americans to enter the educational field, and create educational content teachers can use in the classroom. The Locke Society is the only organization whose goals can address these issues. While other organizations and their members are becoming millionaires complaining about and/or exploiting the situation, we are determined to do something about it. Visit our website to learn more about us and how you can support The Locke Society at https://lockesociety.org/home/about-us/.