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Bill to ban some topics in diversity training clears legislature, goes to governor

DES MOINES — Republicans in the Iowa House of Representatives have sent a bill to the governor that would ban certain topics from government diversity trainings and school lessons.

The original bill referred to a list of divisive concepts that would be off-limits. The bill was adjusted to say teaching about slavery, sexism, segregation and racial discrimination are fine, but teaching that the state and country are fundamentally or systemically racist is banned.

“We don’t have to use racism to teach against racism,” Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison, said. “We don’t need to have to be racist and scapegoat entire groups of people in order to teach against racism.”

Representative Mary Wolfe, a Democrat from Clinton, said Republicans made cosmetic, but not substantive changes to the bill.

“It doesn’t make what was-in my opinion, and I think the opinion of many, many people, a very problematic bill any better,” she said.

Wolfe and other Democrats say the policy could prevent implicit bias training and limit discussions of systemic racism

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