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New guidelines: Racial history lessons can't make Tennessee students feel discomfort, guilt, distress

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) -- The state Department of Education has now released guidelines for how race can be taught by Tennessee teachers.

The guidelines codify a controversial law passed in May by the Republican controlled state assembly that restricts the way certain racial and transsexual concepts are taught in Tennessee.

Among the 14 banned concepts:

  • Teaching that one race or sex is inherently superior or privileged
  • Teaching that an individual’s moral character is determined by his or her race or sex
  • Promoting division between or resentment of a race, sex, religion, or class of people.
  • That the United States is fundamentally racist
  • That an individual should feel guilty because of the individual’s race or sex.
  • All Americans are not created equal
  • Advocating for the violent other throw of the U.S. government

Individual schools are given the responsibility to enforce the new teaching restrictions. Only the students, parents and employees of that school can file a violation complaint.
Confirmed violations can result in a teacher being fired, an educator losing teaching certification in Tennessee, or the school’s loss of state funding.

The Tennessee Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, reacted to the law’s passage this past spring calling it “A disservice to students and a slap in the face of Tennessee Educators.”

TEA has also asserted that the concepts proscribed in the guidelines “are not taught by any Tennessee teacher.”

In a Tennessean op-ed, state House GOP Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison insisted the law protects children from concepts he insists are derived from Marxist ideology.