UPDATE: House Bill 1337 was sent to the 41st Legislative Day effectively killing it.
House Bill 1337 claims to ban political indoctrination; instead, it imposes censorship in classrooms by vaguely forbidding ideas, courses, and units of study.
Drafted by the Governor’s office, this bill purports to ban political indoctrination; instead, it imposes censorship in classrooms by vaguely forbidding ideas, courses, and units of study. This lack of clarity opens the doors for a wide range of interpretations that could be used to chill free speech and academic freedom, restrict civic engagement, and discourage open and honest discussions about systemic racism in classrooms and in school communities.
The ACLU of South Dakota opposes House Bill 1337. State lawmakers across the coutry are using bills like this to try to prevent students from having an open and equitable dialogue about our country’s history — one that acknowledges the role of racism in U.S. history and includes the experiences and viewpoints of Black, Indigenous and people of color, and other marginalized communities. All young people deserve to learn an inclusive and complete history in schools, free from censorship or discrimination. All young people, especially students of color, deserve the right to receive an equitable education where they can freely learn and talk about the history, experiences and viewpoints of all marginalized communities in this country.