Tennessee governor signs bill restricting how race and bias can be taught in schools

By: | May 25, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee on signed a bill into law that will restrict what public school teachers can discuss in Tennessee classrooms about racism, white privilege, and unconscious bias.

The Republican governor signed the bill without comment, following its passage along partisan lines earlier this month.

The new law, which essentially takes effect with the 2021-22 school year, will allow Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn to withhold funds from schools and districts where teachers promote certain concepts about racism, sexism, bias, and other social issues that GOP lawmakers believe are cynical and divisive.

Among the 14 concepts that teachers will not be able to discuss: that one race bears responsibility for past actions against another; the United States is fundamentally racist; and a person is inherently privileged or oppressive due to their race.

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