About the legislation
HB 1532, the Teaching Racial and Universal Equality Act, would prevent educators from teaching students that "one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex" or that "an individual, by virtue of race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously."
According to the legislation's description, HB 1532 is meant to put an end to "the divisive nature of concepts more commonly known as 'critical race theory'" being taught to children in schools.
The bill argues that CRT "further divides us by making the immutable traits of race and gender a prime factor in how we view others — exactly the opposite of Dr. [Martin Luther] King's dream."
Pittsburgh School District votes to defy the bill
Following the unanimous vote to pass a resolution to object to any legislation prohibiting CRT, board member Devon Taliaferro told WTAE-TV, "This resolution, I think, is really important because it also tells our legislators in Harrisburg that you don't get to decide how we educate our students and the environment that we create for them."
"[Students] deserve to accurately learn about our history. Read books that represent their heritage or culture and discover who they are and how they identify," Taliaferro said. "Most importantly, they deserve leaders who will stand up for their rights and make decisions on their behalf that will contribute to their academic and personal system."
The school district argued that anti-CRT bills would prevent teachers from fostering an environment of belonging and accurately teaching students about history. The district also noted that educators would not be allowed to teach gender identity and sexual orientation.
"The District formally opposes and rejects any legislation that suppresses classroom discussion, promotes fear, intolerance, and hate, and devalues staff, students and families of color, and LGBTQ+ students, staff, and families," the district wrote in a press release.
Pittsburgh School District plans to send the resolution to the bill's sponsors and the governor.