Providence, RI – In community after community, with parents, teachers, and local school committees at war with each other over K-12 curriculums, including gender and racial theories that may be taught to their children, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity calls on the General Assembly to end the divisiveness by passing unifying legislation in the upcoming special fall session.
“Whether you believe in the tenets of Critical Race Theory or not, the issue is explosively divisive and is tearing our communities apart,” commented the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “It is not appropriate that any concept that promotes any racial stereotype be taught to our children. State lawmakers have the chance to save our schools and be a hero by closing the door they unintentionally opened in 2019.”
The Center recommends that a version of House Bill H6070, which was heard in committee in March then tabled, be re-considered when the General Assembly reconvenes this fall. The legislation, sponsored by Representative Patricia Morgan, would prohibit the teaching of divisive concepts by requiring all contracts at the state and local level to effectively prohibit the teaching of race- or gender-based guilt.
It is the contention of the Center and many others that legislation signed into law in 2019 (S0863 sub B) gave far too much authority to the statewide RI Department of Education (RIDE) when it comes to curriculum development, thereby limiting options for local schools. With strong evidence suggesting that RIDE itself, backed by powerful teacher unions, is pushing controversial gender- and race-based theories down into local school districts, lawmakers must act boldly and decisively to nip-in-the-bud this burgeoning problem they unwittingly enabled.
Case in point: Tonight’s Westerly School Committee agenda includes consideration of a resolution, brought by the leader of a local parent group (Bob Chiaradio) and modeled after H6070, to prohibit the teaching of divisive concepts. The public debate is likely to be heated. Undoubtedly, other parent groups will bring forth similar resolutions, in response to the public division and conflict that is brewing in cities or towns across our Ocean State.
“Our kids are watching us to see what kind of example we set. The disgraceful labeling and threats must be brought to a stop,” continued Stenhouse. “The General Assembly, with one fell swoop, can help end these battles and return education to its basics; including an objective, inclusive, and truthful teaching of our proud American history.”
Rhode Islanders are encouraged to call on legislative leaders to pre-emptively diffuse tensions in schools and pass a version of H6070 … by visiting the Center’s Action Center at RIFreedom.org/ActionCenter.