GOP State Senator Who Fought Against Woke Schools Is Now Pushing Bill Requiring ‘Racial Bias’ Training For Nurses

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Republican state Sen. Chris Head of Virginia is sponsoring a bill that would require nurses to complete “racial bias” training despite having campaigned heavily against Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the past.

On the “Traditional Values” section of Head’s website, it says that the Virginia state senator regularly fights for “legislation that limits government interference in our daily lives” and “opposes the radical teaching of CRT in our public schools.” Despite this, Head has been pushing Senate Bill 35, which would require nurses to “complete continuing learning activities on the topics of unconscious bias and cultural competency” if they wish to get their license renewed. (RELATED: Establishment Republicans Are Trying To Kneecap The New State-Level Freedom Caucus)

“The Board shall promulgate regulations requiring that the continued competency requirements for renewal of an active license shall include completion of unconscious bias and cultural competency training,” the bill reads. “The Board shall designate organizations that identify and facilitate an evidence-based curriculum to comply with this legislation.”

Head is co-sponsoring SB 35 alongside Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Carroll Foy and Sen. Mamie Locke. The bill was advanced unanimously Wednesday through the Senate’s Finance and Appropriations Committee, which includes five Republicans, and the full Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to fast-track it for a vote, according to the state Senate website.

“Studies have shown that racial disparities in medical treatment dramatically impact maternal and infant mortality rates,” Head told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement Thursday. “Our legislation focuses on addressing those issues so every mother and child receive the best possible treatment. This life saving legislation focuses on ensuring mothers and babies have the best care possible throughout the pregnancy.”

The bill goes on to explain that the first training for nurses should focus on correcting “racial bias” while providing pregnancy care.

“[T]he first unconscious bias and cultural competency training required pursuant to §1 of this act shall be comprehensive and cover how unconscious racial bias affects care during pregnancy and the postpartum period,” according to the text.

Virginia Sen. Chris Head on June 4, 2023.  (Screenshot/Alleghany Journal/YouTube)

Head told the DCNF there is “no correlation between this and CRT which is a curriculum that seeks to indoctrinate children.”

“This training is necessary to ensure the life of the mother and child are protected,” Head said. “Requiring medical providers to adhere to basic trainings will ensure that all patients receive the best possible care. We are focused on protecting the lives of mothers and their babies, not indoctrinating future generations.”

But Dr. Kenneth Lipstock, an ophthalmologist who lives in Richmond, told the DCNF the legislation is not necessary.

“Evidence does not support the myth of implicit bias. This type of legislation is corrosive to the medical field and encourages the very racial division it purports to fight,” Lipstock said. “Driving the wedge between doctor and patient is dangerous and undermines the oath we all took to fight for patients regardless of what they look like or where they came from.”

A 2019 meta-analysis of 492 studies and their 87,418 participants found that while efforts taken to change “response biases” resulted in minor changes, the “effects are often relatively weak,” according to the National Library of Medicine.

“Procedures changed explicit measures less consistently and to a smaller degree than implicit measures and generally produced trivial changes in behavior. Finally, changes in implicit measures did not mediate changes in explicit measures or behavior,” according to the analysis.

During his campaign for Senate in April 2023, Head, who held office as a state delegate from 2012 to 2023, said that the government “does not need to be indoctrinating, they need to be educating,” according to the News Leader, a local media outlet. He also disputed claims that CRT was only in higher education and said that he believed it was being taught more broadly.

In 2022 during his time as a delegate, Head also voted in favor of House Bill 787 which made it illegal for schools to “promote … the belief that (i) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” or that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,” according to the text. The bill passed the state House by a slim Republican majority in a 50 to 49 vote, with all Democrats voting unanimously to kill the legislation.

Kristina Rasmussen, executive director of Do No Harm and a Virginia resident, told the DCNF that the bill is “pure political indoctrination.”

“Our doctors and nurses dedicate their lives to caring for their patients. Requiring them to sit through reeducation sessions and profess unconscious biases is demeaning, wasteful and will only worsen provider shortages. Virginia should heed the warning of Kentucky,” Rasmussen said. “Their Board of Nursing — whose members are appointed by a Democratic governor — recently rolled back their bias training mandates on nurses because they were universally reviled. Nurses didn’t appreciate being forced to pay money to spend precious time sitting through unscientific PowerPoints that belittle and divide — and let’s be clear — that is what ‘unconscious bias’ training is.”

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