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Senate Bill facing criticism from local Kentucky educators


Kentucky Senate Bill 6, which aims to impose restrictions on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion education and programs at universities in the commonwealth is facing backlash from teachers.

The bill would bar schools from mandating agreement with 16 concepts spelled out in the proposed law. Teachers say it would only make problems of discrimination worse.

Bernadette Barton is a professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Morehead State University. She said bills that suppress DEI also suppress people in minority groups.

“Some of our elected officials are trying to legislate away education and knowledge in order to maintain systems of white supremacy and patriarchy,” said Barton. “Or in more colloquial language, to keep people down. To keep women down, to keep people of color down, to keep gay people in the closet, and that’s not the Kentucky I want to see.”

Barton added that the legislators’ concern is misplaced.

“There’s actually really very little pushback from students. It’s rare even for a student to get defensive, really. The students are much more progressive in their ideas and generous about perceiving themselves as privileged than some of our legislators,” said Barton.

Many educators said if the bill is passed, they would be unable to teach critical issues in classrooms, which could lead to the perpetuation of harmful mindsets and ideas.

Bill sponsor Republican Mike Wilson said current laws and policies are sufficient in preventing discrimination.

Barton said it’s not students who have issues with DEI content. She said it’s the legislators who are afraid of what this information could do to their base of power if students choose to act on what they learn.