There are many topics where teachers should be required to be impartial: religion is one. Politics is another. But Nazism? Nope, that’s one area where we you’d kind of hope that the adult schooling your child would make it clear that Adolf Hitler was a very, very bad man. But Scott Baldwin, a Republican senator from Indiana, maybe isn’t so sure.
Last Wednesday, as The Washington Post reports, the lawmaker got a little overzealous in his desire to ban “divisive concepts” from being discussed at all in classrooms throughout the Hoosier State when he used the exact wrong words to explain during a Senate committee hearing that:
“I’m not discrediting, as a person, Marxism, Nazism, fascism—I’m not discrediting any of those -isms out there. And I have no problem with the education system providing instruction on the existence of those -isms. I believe that we’ve gone too far when we take a position on those -isms… We need to be impartial… We need to be the purveyors of reason.”
So… a teacher can tell their students about the existence of Nazism, racism, or “any of those -isms out there,” but cannot denounce it?
The backlash following these comments by Baldwin—who is a co-author of Senate Bill 167, which seeks to prevent such topics from being discussed, or taught, at all in school—were quickly met with criticism, which led to a bit of an about-face the next day. Baldwin issued a statement to the Indianapolis Star in which he claimed:
“When I was drafting this bill, my intent with regard to ‘political affiliation’ was to cover political parties within the legal American political system. In my comments during committee, I was thinking more about the big picture and trying to say that we should not tell kids what to think about politics.
“Nazism, Marxism and fascism are a stain on our world history and should be regarded as such, and I failed to adequately articulate that in my comments during the meeting. I believe that kids should learn about these horrible events in history so that we don’t experience them again in humanity.”
Baldwin also told the paper that he would be tweaking the wording of the bill so that it more accurately reflects his original intent.
(Via The Washington Post)