Indiana GOP Senator Clarifies ‘Impartial’ Comments on Nazism, Fascism

In Summary

Indiana Republican state senator Scott Baldwin is backtracking his remarks that teachers should be “impartial” when giving lessons on fascism and Nazism. 

Sen. Scott Baldwin of Indiana initially stated that while he has no objection to the educational system teaching about the existence of the “isms,” teachers’ courses about fascism and Nazism should be impartial—but apparently that was not what he meant. 

In an email to the Indianapolis Star, Baldwin gave clarity to his controversial remarks, saying the goal of Senate Bill 167 was to guarantee teachers are impartial when discussing “legitimate political groups.” 

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“When I was drafting this bill, my intent with regard to ‘political affiliation’ was to cover political parties within the legal American political system,” he said, per IndyStar. “In my comments during committee [hearing], I was thinking more about the big picture and trying to say that we should not tell kids what to think about politics.” 

He went on to describe Nazism, Marxism and fascism as “stains” on our world history, and said children should learn about these horrific events “so that we don’t experience them again in humanity.” 

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Senate Bill 167 contains several controversial educational provisions, including the prohibition on requiring a student to participate in a personal analysis, evaluation, or survey that reveals or attempts to influence the student’s attitudes, habits, traits, opinions, beliefs, or feelings without parental consent. 

It was widely viewed as a response to the ongoing debate over critical race theory— which continues to stir debate among legislators—and also prohibits schools from teaching that sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin or political affiliation are inherently superior or inferior.

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