Harrisburg, Pa – Pennsylvania State Reps. Russ Diamond and Barb Gleim introduced HB 1532, the Teaching Racial and Universal Equality Act (TRUE Act), an Act providing for restrictions on racist and sexist concepts, for contracts, for penalty and for private cause of action.
Bill sponsor State Rep. Diamond provided insight of the legislation to hbg100.com today, stating, “This Marxist agenda, whether it’s called critical race theory, social emotional learning, or any other name – is little more than a direct attempt to undermine everything that makes America great. Identifying and categorizing students by their inherent traits, and treating them differently, or having them treat each other differently, as a result does not serve the needs of our Commonwealth.
“While it is important to teach students the unvarnished truth about race throughout American history, our schools need to focus instead on how far we’ve come in providing for equality under the law. The purveyors of this agenda are institutionalizing the soft bigotry of low expectations and no Pennsylvania parent, teacher, school administrator, or legislator should stand for it. My legislation would defund any school which includes this anti-American tripe as part of its curriculum.”
Rep. Diamond said the next step for the bill is to get an education committee hearing or vote.
State Rep. Gleim is expected to speak of her legislative efforts to combat critical race theory at a rally to stop CRT in Pennsylvania schools. The rally will be held July 14, 2021 on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps in Harrisburg.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was cited by Rep. Gleim in a memo on the legislation that seeks to ban the teaching of critical race theory in Pennsylvania schools. On August 28, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King stated, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Rep. Gleim concluded the memo by stating, “Critical race theory further divides us by making the immutable traits of race and gender a prime factor in how we view others — exactly the opposite of Dr. King’s dream.” Gleim also gave a personal salutation in commemoration of Dr. King during MLK Jr Day in January.
Parents in Pennsylvania are outraged by new instructional material the Department of Education has published online. The new resources on its website describe profile categories sorted into 8 labeled levels of whiteness, and contain instructions to combat “white privilege.” Another section on the state website promotes black power.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Education proposed two curriculum priorities for schools applying for grants through the federal American History and Civics Education programs. According to freedomworks.org, the first priority mandates schools “incorporate teaching and learning practices that reflect the diversity, identities, and experiences of all students,” and “create inclusive, supportive, and identity-safe learning environments.” The second priority asks for the curriculum to include a strong focus on “news literacy” as a means to “meaningfully participate in our democracy and distinguish fact from misinformation.”
The issue has caused a divide in many communities. Some teachers are protesting the newly passed state laws that ban critical race theory or diversity curriculums, and more than 5,100 teachers have signed a pledge saying they will continue to teach critical race theory and plan to violate the new laws. The American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten recently said the union is preparing litigation and has a legal defense fund to defend teachers who break the new laws. Weingarten promised to fight “culture warriors” who attempt to limit lessons on racism and discrimination by labeling it as critical race theory.