Indianapolis Urban League Responds to Senate Bill 167: Education matters
“Bill is a Veiled Effort to Address Critical Race Theory”
Indianapolis, IN (January 5, 2022) – Today, Indianapolis Urban League President and CEO Tony Mason issued the following statement in response to SB 167: Education Matters:
The Indianapolis Urban League is strongly opposed to legislation that undermines the teaching of African American history or potentially stifles diversity, equity, and inclusion in K-12 education.
SB 167 is a veiled effort to address critical race theory, a legal theory directed at criticizing the legal system for producing racist outcomes, which is not taught in K-12 education but rather in law school.
At a time where Indiana’s education system has been the most diverse it has ever been, we find it both odd and disappointing that the nature of the conversation we are having about the future of education in Indiana, in this opening legislative session, is anchored on a theory based on systems of legalities that produce racists results. At this moment, this committee should be laser-focused on addressing the significant and devastating racial achievement gaps on state standardized testing, as well as the poor performance of white students on those same tests; alternatively, by choice, we are sadly focused on what essentially is a non-issue as one of the first issues this committee will address this session.
No doubt the purpose of the legislation is for this committee to have a significant influence on the curriculum of school districts around the state instead of trusting trained professionals on the development of curriculum for our K-12 students and heeding to the curriculum advisory committee’s recommendation.
Based on what has been presented in SB 167, it stands to harm our community given that there was little to no outreach to African-Americans and other People of Color about this issue and it provides no recourse against the “whitewashing” of curriculum and ultimately history and culture.
Clearly, this bill was not designed to correct curriculums by including more perspectives but to revise curriculums by creating a system that could reduce the number of perspectives included in Indiana curriculums. SB 167 threatens to undermine the accepted protections of people of color who are the minority in most communities around the state—a foundational democratic principle in a multiracial democracy.
We believe the efforts to address critical race theory in K-12 education is a subterfuge for an attempt to undermine diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools. Contrary to the claims of supporters of SB 167, the efforts outlined in SB 167 are not intended to eliminate discussions and teachings that indoctrinate students, regardless of race, to feel “less than”. The efforts are a part of a nationwide strategy or playbook that will attempt to guarantee younger generations of White students learn as little as possible about the country’s true history, racism, and systems that cause inequalities and inequities to exist in our society; thus ensuring these younger generations of White students will likely be less moderate, liberal or even progressive in their thinking, their advocacy for racial equity, and voting.
In conclusion, we affirm the expansion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in K-12 education and do not believe SB 167 is designed to achieve this objective, but believe it is aimed at chilling the efforts of teachers throughout Indiana by limiting their ability to do their jobs and limiting the diversity of thought and inclusion on all fronts; ultimately, having a long-term impact on the economic viability of the State of Indiana and the quality of living for everyone who calls Indiana home. Email your elected representative as soon as possible to voice your concerns about this harmful legislation.
Tony Mason, President & CEO, Indianapolis Urban League
Media Contact: Tony Mason, President & CEO, Indianapolis Urban League | (317) 693-7603 email@example.com
About the Indianapolis Urban League:
Founded in 1965, the Indianapolis Urban League is a nonprofit, non-partisan, interracial, community-based, human services agency dedicated to assisting African Americans, other minorities and disadvantaged individuals to achieve social and economic equality. Annually, the IUL provides direct services and advocacy in the areas of education and youth services, economic and workforce development, health and quality of life, civic engagement and leadership, and civil rights and racial justice empowerment. IUL is one of 90 affiliates of the National Urban League serving 300 communities in 36 states and the District of Columbia. For more information visit indplsul.org