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INDIANAPOLIS – Lawmakers in the Indiana Senate may move forward with a bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ school sports.

The Senate education committee held a hearing Wednesday on House Bill 1041, which Indiana House Republicans passed last month. Lawmakers only heard public testimony during the hearing, which ran nearly three hours, and did not vote on the bill.

Prior to the hearing, dozens gathered outside the Senate chamber to rally in support of transgender rights.

The bill has divided Hoosiers.

“It would harm children in Indiana and further marginalize transgender youth,” said Dr. Lauren Bell, a pediatrician who testified against the bill on behalf of the Indiana Academy of Pediatrics.

“It’s not a bill to punish anybody,” said Jay Hart, a parent who spoke in support of the bill. “Everybody has an opportunity to play sports.”

House Bill 1041 is not the only education bill being considered that’s generated controversy.

Another proposal that may move forward, House Bill 1134, would limit what concepts could be taught in schools regarding race, gender and ethnicity. It would also require certain classroom materials to be posted online.

Senate education committee chairman Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond) will decide whether both bills could be voted on to be sent to the Senate floor.

“Occasionally, there are pieces of legislation that are controversial that have to be dealt with or there’s a constituency that believes it has to be dealt with,” said State Sen. Raatz.

“Instead of addressing the teacher shortage, instead of addressing student mental health, we’re getting sidetracked with all of these bills that are moving through the process,” said State Sen. J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis), the committee’s ranking minority member.

Earlier this week, House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) resigned from his executive role at the College Board as activists and an online article raised questions about his position and support of the school curriculum bill.

“Since taking on the role of House Speaker, I’ve contemplated how I could best balance the tremendous level of responsibility required in my substantial role at the College Board and as a public servant,” Huston said in a statement. “Ultimately, I decided to leave the College Board family.”

A spokesperson for Huston said his resignation from the College Board “was not related to any legislative efforts.”