BR-69 seeking ban on race, sex, religion education

Published 9:00 am Thursday, December 30, 2021

A bill is set to be introduced into the next legislative session that, if passed, will restrict education related to race, sex and religion.

22RS BR-69, titled “AN ACT relating to prohibited instruction and declaring an emergency,” is a bill being introduced by Matt Lockett (R), representative of portions of Jessamine and Fayette counties. The text of the bill is outlined on the Kentucky General Assembly website as follows:

“Amend KRS 158.183 to require a local board of education or board of a public charter school to ensure that no public school or public charter school offers any classroom instruction or discussion that promotes designated concepts related to race, sex, and religion; provide that a school district employee that violates the prohibition is subject to disciplinary action; amend KRS 164.348 to prohibit classroom instruction or discussion that incorporates designated concepts related to race, sex and religion at public postsecondary education institutions; EMERGENCY.”

BR-69, if passed, would affect schools K-12, along with higher education institutions. Lockett discussed the bill at during the Jessamine County Republicans meeting on Dec. 16, calling the bill a “ban on CRT (critical race theory).” The bill’s effect on education pertaining to sex and religion was not mentioned.

CRT is an academic concept dating back more than 40 years. Encyclopedia Britannica defines it as the idea that racism is embedded in legal systems and policies. The encyclopedia states the following:

“Critical race theorists hold that racism is inherent in the law and legal institutions of the United States insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans. Critical race theorists are generally dedicated to applying their understanding of the institutional or structural nature of racism to the concrete (if distant) goal of eliminating all race-based and other unjust hierarchies.”

Additionally, BR-69 would, if passed, open institutions that violate the ban on education related to race, sex and religion to litigation.

“We can’t just say ‘here’s a list of things you can’t teach in public schools,” said Lockett. “That list is still there, but goes a step further because I wanted to make sure the bill has teeth to it.”

Nearly 20 KY representatives are sponsoring the bill. They include: Shane Baker (R); Lynn Bechler (R); Josh Calloway (R); Jennifer Decker (R); Ryan Dotson (R); Daniel Fister (R); Jim Gooch Jr. (R); Mark Hart (R); Thomas Huff (R); Kim King (R); Norma Kirk-McCormick (R); William Lawrence (R); Melinda Gibbons Prunty (R); Felicia Rabourn (R); Nancy Tate (R); Walker Thomas (R); Bill Wesley (R); and Richard White (R).

The 2022 Legislative Session begins Jan. 4. Representatives will meet a total of 60 times between then and when the session ends on April 14.