Legislation opposing progressive education moves forward in SC House

South Carolina House legislators spent much of the early months of 2022 focused on limiting teachers’ freedoms to discuss Critical Race Theory (CRT) and sexual and gender identity. 

The H.5183 bill was first introduced in February 2022 and was passed in the state House on April 21. It now resides in the state Senate Committee on Education. 

Under a section included in the state’s budget bill, schools and districts are prohibited from using state funding to teach that certain races or sexes are superior to others, or that individuals have certain traits, experiences, or responsibilities because of their race or sex. Several bills introduced for the 2022 session would ban schools from teaching “discriminatory concepts” and “critical race theory,” or require schools to allow public review of curriculum materials. 

The proposed education censorship bill also entails the Don’t Say Gay movement, which seeks to prohibit teachers and others from discussing their sexual orientation or gender identity with students from kindergarten through 12th grade. It also seeks to ban teachers and other presenters from discussing topics of sexual orientation and gender identity with students from kindergarten through eighth grade. 

The bill would require parental consent for classroom discussions about abortion, birth control or contraceptives, sexual activity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Before obtaining written consent from parents, the bill would require schools to provide parents with an informed written notice which shall accurately describe in detail the contents and nature of the instruction on human sexuality, including the purpose of the instruction.