The Alaska State Senate is considering a bill that would require government-run schools to display on their websites all training material used for teachers, curriculum and school procedures, as well as the title and author of materials, and any organizations associated with the materials. The bill would also require a brief description and link to the material along with the identity of any teacher who may have produced the content.
Sponsored by Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River), Senate Bill 196 also prohibits schools from compelling students, educators and others from using certain ideologically and politically charged forms of speech.
Specifically, the bill says students and educators must not be compelled to adhere to the belief or concept that the “United States, the state, or individual is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist,” or that an individual, by virtue of “sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, is, consciously or unconsciously, inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.”
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The bill adds that schools cannot require people to assent to the idea that a person’s “moral character is necessarily determined by their sex, race, ethnicity, religion color or national origin,” or that individuals are “blameworthy for actions committed in the past by other members” of their same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin.
The bill bars schools from using public funds to pay for speakers, consultants or “diversity trainers” who encourage, direct, or otherwise compel students or educators to affirm or adopt any of the prohibited ideologically driven beliefs. If schools do offer “speech training” sessions, SB 196 would require schools to let anyone opt out.
The bill does not prohibit “voluntary, uninduced, and uncoerced attendance or participation” in a training or seminar covering the above topics, or in-school discussion of them, so long as the school clarifies that it does not sponsor, approve, or endorse the concepts or material.
Entities that violate the proposed law could be subject to civil action from the state attorney general.
— Senate Bill 196 is currently in the Senate Education Committee, where its next hearing is set for Wednesday, April 20, at 9 a.m.
— Click here to email or call members of the Senate Education Committee.