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Bill On Prohibiting 'Controversial Topics' In Schools Fails In Arizona Senate

A bill that would have banned Arizona educators from discussing “controversial topics” in schools, or face a fine of up to $5,000, failed on Thursday to get the votes needed to pass in the state Senate

Republican State Sen. Paul Boyer, who's also a charter school teacher, joined Democrats in voting against the bill that’s part of an nationwide effort to ban critical race theory in schools.

“I have observations in my classroom all the time from people I don’t even know who they are, and that’s fine, but I don’t think those who deal with felonies should be monitoring classrooms and snooping around to see if there’s something controversial going on," he said. 

In addition, Boyer argued that this bill, if passed, could further exacerbate Arizona’s ongoing teacher shortage. 

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. David Livingston, said he hopes to bring the bill back to the Senate with amended language. 

Similar bills have been introduced and passed in other red states such as  Idaho and  Tennessee

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.