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Civil rights, education experts call on Indiana House to drop debated school curriculum bill

Jeanie Lindsay
The Indiana State Teachers Association and other advocates gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday, calling for House lawmakers to drop HB 1134 after the Senate decided to kill its version of the legislation.

Listen to the radio version of this story as it aired on Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations.

Advocates representing Black Hoosiers, teachers and other education groups called for lawmakers to vote no on a controversial school curriculum bill Wednesday, as they gathered in the statehouse to further condemn legislation many of them say is racist and divisive.

Senate Republicans announced last week they will no longer consider Senate Bill 167 – that's the controversial school curriculum bill that would place restrictions on how schools talk about things like racism and politics. But a House committee made changes to and approved House Bill 1134 last week, which is nearly identical

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Marshawn Wolley works with several civil rights and advocacy groups, including the African American Coalition of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Urban League, and spoke against the bills in committee. He said the voices of Black Hoosiers weren't considered as lawmakers wrote the legislation, and suggestions from Wolley and others about how to address their concerns have been ignored. 

"And so we're here now talking a little bit louder, because we weren't heard when we tried to engage in a different way," he said.

People representing groups including the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, Children's Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana, and the Social Emotional Learning Alliance also joined Wednesday's news conference to speak against the proposals.

The remaining bill is still waiting to be heard for second reading on the House floor.

Contact reporter Jeanie at or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.

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Jeanie Lindsay