Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen plans to do a “wholesale overhaul” of the education system by controlling what students are learning and their conversations in the classroom, per The Associated Press. Along with other states’ anti-woke initiatives, this includes book banning and limitations of conversations around sexuality.
Pillen wrote in a weekly column all about his plan to “protect kids and their adolescent minds” until they’re old enough to make their own decisions. In translation: he’s taking a stance against the imaginary “gay agenda” that has conservatives quaking in their boots. In the column, he said he supported Sen. Kathleen Kauth’s LB 574 bill that will keep “misinformed” parents from letting their children undergo gender-affirming surgery. Additionally, the bill will provide protections (or rather restrictions) on single-sex spaces such as bathrooms and sports.
The other side of this “overhaul” is putting taxpayer money toward funding private school vouchers to make book banning easier, per AP. Sen. Dave Murman also proposed a bill that would allow parents to review “objectionable” class materials which would inevitably lead to them being wiped from the curriculum. He also added, of course, forbidding the instruction that a certain ethnic group (*cough* white people *cough) are inherently racist and should feel guilt for America’s past.
Good thing critical race theory isn’t about teaching either of those things but teachers are already under the pressure of all these new initiatives.
Read more from AP News:
However, UCLA education professor John Rogers, who spoke to several Nebraska school principals for a report published in November that looked at political conflict and the role it plays in public education across the nation, said educators are struggling under the weight of so many proposals.
“The Nebraska principals spoke eloquently about the ways that partisan political attacks in their local communities were making it more difficult to support informed classroom dialogue, educate young people about the full history of the United States, and protect the well-being of LGBTQ students,” said Rogers, the director of UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access. “This climate of conflict, the principals suggested, also heightened stress amongst students and staff and led some teachers to consider leaving the profession.”
To cover every corner of education, the state conservatives are also scheming to allow Pillen to have more control over the commissions that oversee K-12 education by having board members appointed by the governor instead of elected by the people. So, basically, they’re using the same tactics that packed the Supreme Court with right-wingers to fill school boards.
They’re already off to a good start as far as silencing LGBT students. Back in October, Northwest High School had its student newspaper shut down after posting a piece about the origins of Pride Month and history of homophobia, per NBC News.
Now, parents not only have to have a discussion about these controversial topics but also why they can’t learn or talk about them in school.