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Kentucky Bill Would Set New Rules For Teaching Race, Gender

AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File

A Kentucky lawmaker has filed a bill that would regulate the teaching of race and gender studies in public school classrooms.

Ft. Thomas Republican Rep. Joe Fischer submitted legislation on Tuesday that targets the teaching or discussion of controversial theories surrounding race, gender, and history, often lumped under the heading of "critical race theory."

Bill Request 60 bars classrooms from including or promoting a number of concepts, including that a person is "inherently racist" by virtue of his or her race, or that individuals of a particular race "bear responsibility for actions committed in the past" by members of the same background. The language mirrors similar provisions in bills passed in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Idaho.

In Kentucky's neighbor to the south, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has argued should learn “the exceptionalism of our nation,” not things that “inherently divide” people, according to the Associated Press.

Asked to comment on the proposal set for consideration in 2022 in the commonwealth, Gov. Andy Beshear said legislative interest in what specifics are taught in the classroom is concerning, adding "especially in the framework of politics, it gets really dangerous."

BR60 also bars public postsecondary schools from requiring that any student engage in any "mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling."

Violations of the provisions would be subject schools to a penalty of $5,000 a day as long as the violation persists.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.