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Indiana Statehouse

STATEHOUSE — Lawmakers made several changes to a bill on Monday that is aimed at restricting classroom instruction on certain topics for young students, and now, it’s moving on through the Indiana Statehouse.

House Bill 1608 passed through the education committee Monday with a 9 to 4 vote. The original version of HB 1608 would not let students in kindergarten through third grade learn about things like sexual orientation or gender identity in school. The bill’s author, Rep. Michelle Davis, changed it so it would ban the discussion of human sexuality through third grade. It no longer mentions sexual orientation, gender identity and “certain other concepts.”

Another amendment was proposed Monday morning to require written consent from a parent at the beginning of the school year if a child is going to use a different name other than their legal name. That amendment passed along party lines.

Opponents of the bill say it would send the wrong message to LGBTQ children and make them feel like outcasts. Supporters of it, however, say it makes sure that parents are the ones leading discussions on sensitive topics with their own children.

The public is allowed to attend the hearings, but two people had to be removed for being disruptive.