State Representative Barbara Gleim (R-Carlisle) announced to fellow lawmakers on Monday that she will soon introduce a measure to bar Pennsylvania teachers from championing their personal political convictions in the classroom.
Gleim stated that her proposal is an important step toward reaffirming anti-discrimination principles as outlined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion or sex in education.
In a memorandum seeking co-sponsors for her legislation, titled the Anti-Indoctrination in Education Act, the representative declared that her legislation will articulate guidelines for the Pennsylvania Department of Education to aid teachers instructing their students on “challenging and controversial issues.” Her bill will also provide parents and schools with procedures to issue complaints which could lead to investigation when civil rights law appears to have been violated.
“For education to create citizens capable of self-government, students need to engage with a variety of viewpoints on challenging issues, led by teachers who understand that there is greater value in promoting independent thinking than in advancing their own beliefs,” Gleim wrote. “Teachers should be prepared to engage students in academic discussions about all topics, so long as teachers impart vital knowledge and skills without imposing their own beliefs.”
Measures like Gleim’s have gotten increased traction as debates about Critical Race Theory (CRT) have exploded across the nation in recent years. While Leftists have insisted that CRT — which maintains that history should be taught from a perspective of racial politics — is not found in Pennsylvania curricula, numerous instances of K-12 institutions and teachers injecting far-left racial ideology into their lessons have come to light.
Christopher Rufo, of the center-right Manhattan Institute, for example, reported that a Philadelphia elementary school directed fifth-graders to simulate a “Black Power” demonstration to free communist activist Angela Davis from her brief 1970s imprisonment on murder charges. Rufo wrote that that those children were also instructed to extol “Black communism.”
And, in August 2020, Gladwyne Elementary School just outside of Philadelphia made national news for requiring fourth- and fifth-graders to read Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness. A short children’s book by Anastasia Higginbotham, it urges children to distrust law enforcement and encourages white children to dismiss assertions by their own parents that they are not responsible for societal racism.
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