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State Rep. Oliver confident in passage of “divisive concepts” bill

State Rep. Ed Oliver has been trying to ban the teaching of certain “divisive concepts” for the past two years.

Rep. Ed Oliver

State Rep. Ed Oliver, R-Dadeville, has been trying to ban the teaching of certain “divisive concepts” in K-12 classrooms and other spaces for the past two years.

Those attempts have failed to come through, facing obstacles, particularly in the Senate.

But Oliver told a far-right radio show last week that he expects to push the bill through the upcoming legislative session within the first two weeks.

“I’ve been assured and reassured by the people who tied it up last year in the Senate that it would pass,” Oliver said on the Jeff Poor show. “There is going to be all kinds of pressure from all sorts of places to get this bill passed in the first week or two of the legislative session.”

During the bill’s first run, it ran into delays in the House as it took three committee meetings before the group passed it through in a meeting that lasted under a minute in a small, unstreamed committee room.

It faired better last session in the House, but continued to have problems making progress in the Senate.

But this session, Oliver said the bill will actually start in the Senate under Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road.

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“I don’t know anybody that wants the government to sexualize or politicize your kids,” Oliver told Poor, who also runs the far-right website 1819 News.

Oliver’s reasoning behind the bill has been all over the place over the years, as it closely resembles a national spate of Republican bills at that time opposing Critical Race Theory in classrooms.

But at times, Oliver has focused on the bill protecting kids from Marxism, and is now talking about sexualizing children despite the bill having no language in the past dealing with that subject matter. Instead, Oliver seems to be injecting language from the adjacent push to precent libraries from offering certain books to minors, often blurring the lines between sexual content and LGBTQ content.

Oliver also lamented that “a third of the classes” at the state’s flagship universities teach “diversity, equity and inclusion.”

“I don’t think that type of education prepares people for anything except to be divisive and not understand how the real world works,” Oliver said.

Instead, Oliver said the classes should prepare students to be engineers or for other jobs rather than training them to be “left-wing revolutionaries.”

Although Oliver has confirmed he will be bringing back the bill in some form, it has not been pre-filed and how the language will ultimately compare to previous iterations is unknown

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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