Representative Jennifer Pawlik, D-Chandler, who is an elementary school teacher, said she was worried about what would happen if a history lesson made a student feel uncomfortable.
“It was not my intention,” she said. “But if someone has the feeling, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t know this was happening’, it makes a first grader sad, will the teacher lose their teaching? degrees, school Will she be fined?’
Udall, however, said it comes down to intent.
“If you read it carefully, it says that a teacher should not only teach an individual should feeling discomfort, experiencing anguish or some other form of psychological distress because of the individual’s race, ethnicity or gender,” she said.
Specifically, Udall said, teachers should teach that students are responsible for their own actions, “not what happened in history.”
Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, said it wasn’t that simple.
For example, he said, there could be a discussion of the Fair Housing Act, the 1968 federal law designed to prevent discrimination in people’s ability to buy and rent houses and apartments, something which can be taught as a matter of history. But Bolding said the lessons go beyond those simple facts.
“A student might ask, ‘Why?’ or how?’ ” he said. ‘And that’s when you start having a deeper discussion about ‘why did you need the Fair Housing Act of 1968’.”