Louisville students rally against two proposed bills
Rallies held against House Bill 14 and House Bill 18.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Students and teachers from Louisville demonstrated at the state capitol Tuesday against two house education bills, they call anti-Critical Race Theory legislation that would ban teachers from talking about race in a way that could make anyone uncomfortable.
“Put your hands up, if you feel like you need to be heard,” sang students from the nonprofit organizations Mighty Shades of Ebony and Lionheart.
Activists, educators and students from Louisville speak out against House Bill 14 and House Bill 18, claiming if passed would force teachers to sugarcoat history.
“I’m sorry to tell you but history is not going to be pretty all the time,” says Malachi Ibn-Mohammed, W.E.B. DuBois High School freshman. “Sometimes it’s going to be ugly. Sometimes it’s not going to be- it’s going to be hard to say, but you have to tell the truth and you have to tell the whole truth.”
House bill 14 and 18 are nearly identical. Both contain the same curriculum changes for kindergarten through 12th grade, while House Bill 18 includes public universities. Under the proposed legislation, educators wouldn’t be allowed to teach that one race or gender is superior to another or that someone is racist or sexist just by being a certain race or gender. Educators also wouldn’t be allowed to make someone feel uncomfortable or guilty because of their race. The bills would also prohibit teachers from teaching that Kentucky or the United States are fundamentally racist or sexist.
“If life is a test, what is the lesson? No time for drama, no time for stressing, overlook our culture, that’s a microaggression,” sang the students.
Those rallying Tuesday think the bills are anti-Critical Race Theory, which according to the Kentucky Department of Education, is a theory not taught in grade schools. Those who gathered to protest sang songs detailing their experiences in school, like transferring from a predominantly white school to a mostly black school, and talked about their fears surrounding the proposed legislation.
“Others are content with the status quo of racist history, lessons that teach that white people are the only contributors to our history,” says Kumar Rashad, Breckinridge Metropolitan High School teacher. “This is bullying. Bullying is exclusion. We’re being excluded.”
Another rally against House Bills 14 and 18 will take place at 2:15 P.M. January 12, 2022 in the Capitol Rotunda. For more information on the demonstration, you can email the organizers at DefendersOfAccurateHistory.firstname.lastname@example.org.