Indiana lawmaker walks back his comments about ‘impartiality’ on Nazism

Indiana state lawmaker, Senator Scott Baldwin (R) has walked back statements he made at a committee hearing at the Indiana Statehouse last Wednesday regarding his belief that teachers should be “impartial” when teaching about Nazism, facism, and Marxism. 

The statement was in response to a history teacher who expressed concern over the expectations of political neutrality in the classroom, pointing out that while teachers should remain politically neutral on modern-day politics, they should still take a stand against things like Nazism and facism.

Baldwin answered in front of the committee, “I have no problem with the education system providing instruction on the existence of those isms,” he said. “I believe that we’ve gone too far when we take a position on those isms …  We need to be impartial.” 

Amid backlash about his comment, Baldwin sent an email to the Indianapolis Star the following day, saying he was unclear in his comments during the committee meeting.

Baldwin wrote, “When I was drafting this bill, my intent with regard to ‘political affiliation’ was to cover political parties within the legal American political system.” He continued, “In my comments during committee, I was thinking more about the big picture and trying to say that we should not tell kids what to think about politics.”

Baldwin’s controversial comments were part of a nearly 8 hour hearing over SB 167, which would limit conversations on race and politics in schools.

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