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Bill Would Require Teaching About Racism In U.S. In Kentucky Classrooms

LRC Public Information

Public middle and high schools in Kentucky would be required to teach the history of racism in the U.S. under a bill prefiled by state Democratic Rep. Attica Scott.

Set for consideration during the 2022 regular legislative session, the measure would mandate that the schools provide instruction on a number of race-related topics — including, but not limited to, the transatlantic slave trade, the American civil war, Jim Crow laws, the black codes, desegregation, civil and voting rights legislation, redlining, and residential segregation.

The measure's sole sponsor, Rep. Scott has been active in racial justice campaigns and is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for Kentucky's third Congressional district. The lawmaker is also suing Louisville police over her 2020 arrest following a protest for Breonna Taylor, which led to criminal charges that were later dropped.

While the bill comes at a time when Republican lawmakers are also pressing to ban the teaching of critical race theory, often shortened to CRT,  in the state, Scott says her bill isn't a reaction to those efforts.

"I did not file this bill request in response to anti-CRT rhetoric," the representative tweeted. "I initially filed the bill in January 2021 at the request of students in (Jefferson County Public Schools)."

Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass testified earlier this year that he was not aware of the CRT framework being taught in any classrooms. Mentions of critical race theory were reportedly scrubbed from an elective course dubbed “Developing Black Historical Consciousness” in Jefferson County schools.

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.