Christian Curriculum

House Bill 1134 is not needed | Opinions

For the editor:

Indiana State Senators Scott Baldwin and Linda Rogers proposed Indiana House Bill 1134. It will ensure the transparency of the program.

The bill is unnecessary for three reasons.

First, it is not necessary because there is already transparency of study programs. Anyone can easily access state standards.

Second, Scott Baldwin was quoted that teachers must “be impartial during lessons on Nazism”. We had filmmaker Ted Green at Angola Middle School and we watched his film about Holocaust survivor Eva Kor. Perhaps Ted could have picked up Scott in Noblesville on his drive from Indianapolis so that Scott could have been informed and enlightened by this program.

Third, Linda Rogers said “some teachers have crossed the line” and the legislation will “hold them back”. She did not name any teachers who cross the line, name the line, or describe how the legislation will reduce them. It’s not transparent.

I read a recent letter to the editor from Robert Sparkman regarding House Bill 1134. The letter contained the words Christian, Christians, or Christianity seven times. The author cautioned against words like social justice, anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion. These concepts, like love and peace, are all Christian.

This same recent letter from Robert Sparkman stated that “young individuals generally lack the defense mechanisms necessary to objectively analyze worldviews.” Don’t tell that to my seventh-grade class who interviewed Dr. Lewis and Dr. Baron about the May 4, 1970 shooting at Kent State University. Interviews, like our state standards, are transparent and easily accessible.

I’m just glad Ron Wills was my high school history teacher. He never gave lessons. The class was project-based. Nothing in our manual had anything about the Alien Enemies Act. Americans lost their homes, businesses, and farms and were incarcerated during World War II because they were second-generation Japanese. The 442nd Regiment fought the Nazis. The 442nd was the most decorated combat unit in United States history. These brave heroes were all Americans of Japanese descent. Discovering that, researching that, thinking about that, and coming to a conclusion about that didn’t make me unpatriotic. It required next-level critical thinking skills. It challenged me.

I had a sign above my classroom door to the Angola College hallway. Instead of playing like a champion today, my sign read, “The purpose of education is not to fill an empty mind; but to open it.

Paul Beckwith