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Iowa House passes bill banning “divisive concepts” in diversity trainings at public schools

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 6:24 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - The Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban what some lawmakers view as “divisive concepts” in diversity trainings at public schools, state universities, and in government.

House file 802 bans 10 “divisive concepts” including:

  • The Idea that the U.S. and Iowa are fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist
  • The idea that one sex or race is inherently superior to another sex or race
  • The idea that an individual, by virtue of race or sex is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive

“Iowans don’t believe that America or the state of Iowa are fundamentally racist or sexist,” Rep. Sandy Salmon, R-Janesville, said.

KCCI reports the bill’s Republican floor manager said the concepts sow, “resentment and hatred against” the U.S.

Under the bill, these concepts could still be discussed in a broader academic context. But democrats say the bill limits crucial conversations.

“We can’t have it both ways,” Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, D-Des Moines said. “We can’t say on one hand ‘we want freedom of speech’ on another hand say ‘we want to hear both sides’ and then stifle those sides.”

Another democrat representative says the bill will “cancel reality.”

The bill passed along strict party lines. It will now head to the Senate.

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