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Long odds for GOP push against left ‘extremism’ in schools

February 23, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Republican’s push to quash the “left-wing extremism” in Maine classrooms faces steep odds in the state’s Democratic controlled Legislature.

Rep. Lawrence Lockman seeks to prevent teachers in public schools from engaging in political, ideological, or religious advocacy in the classroom.

The representative is calling for state rules preventing teachers from endorsing or opposing candidates, or introducing unrelated “controversial subject matter.”

Teachers also couldn’t single out one racial group of students as responsible for the suffering or inequities of another racial group.

Lockman’s proposal faced strong opposition at a Thursday hearing, and is set for a Feb. 28 work session.

A Maine School Management Association spokesperson said local school boards already have policies on sensitive discussions. A Maine Education Association representative said the proposal would stoke a “climate of fear.”