Skip to Content

Controversial bill on controversial subjects in classroom passes Arizona House

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

TUCSON (KVOA) - The Arizona House passed a bill on Wednesday known as the 'Unbiased Teaching Act'. It calls on teachers to give equal weight to controversial viewpoints and subjects in class.

Some opponents argue SB 1532 goes too far. 

"It says Arizona wants to stay in a bubble or some people want to stay in a bubble and it's just not possible," Tucson Education Association President Margaret Chaney said. "It's just not and it's not healthy." 

Chaney is a former government and history teacher at various Southern Arizona schools.  She believes the bill would hamper a teacher's ability to effectively do their job and keep some students from thinking critically. 

"I always brought in more than what was in the curriculum, always," she said. "And I'm very proud of that, because you know that old adage history repeats itself, well we don't want history to be repeated and the way to do that is to address it, to talk about it." 

State Rep. Michelle Udall, a Republican, is a high school math teacher in Mesa.  

She argues that the bill that passed in the State House, along party lines, aims to give students an unbiased education. 

"When they walk into a classroom that the teacher is teaching them how to think rather than what to think," Rep. Udall said. "That all of our students are treated equally."

Udall said historical events that have helped shape who we are must be taught.

"You absolutely can talk about slavery, about Jim Crow, about the Holocaust. Those things don't need to be taught from two perspectives, they're historical events that happened."

Lisa Millerd is an English teacher at Amphi High School

"You're questioning my integrity that I am making poor choices," she said. "That's what's happening here."

Rep. Udall added an amendment to the bill that would fine teachers up to $5,000 for knowingly teaching in a bias way to influence students. 

"We're not after that teacher that accidentally one time gives something that might have leaned a little bit one way," Udall said. "This isn't a witch hunt, we're not going to be asking for their heads."

"We all come in with biases and opinions because we're human beings," Millerd said. "My business is to bring you to whatever conclusions you want to draw because I've drawn that out of you."

SB 1532 now moves to the State Senate for a vote. If it passes, it will head to Gov. Doug Ducey's desk for his signature.

Author Profile Photo

Eric Fink

Skip to content