COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- A state lawmaker introduced a bill Tuesday in the South Carolina House that would ban public schools from teaching about slave owners.

The bill, filed by Rep. Jermaine Johnson (D-Hopkins), would prohibit public school history curriculums from including teachings about people who owned slaves, beginning the 2023-2024 school year.

Johnson’s bill comes in response to H.3278 — ‘South Carolina Transparency and Integrity in Education Act’ — a bill filed by House Republicans that would prevent public educators from teaching certain concepts in the classroom or as part of professional development programs.

Democrats argue that the bill is an attempt by Republicans to “censor the teaching of Black history under the guise of prohibiting Critical Race Theory.”

“If we’re afraid of teaching children about things that could cause discomfort, then we need to add slave owners to the list,” Johnson said. “Many people find this topic uncomfortable and upsetting, especially the grandparents of children who lived through the Civil Rights Movement and had relatives who were slaves themselves. We should protect our children from being exposed to this evil by sweeping it under the rug and never addressing it.”

The House Education and Public Works K-12 Subcommittee held a hearing Tuesday to discuss H.3728 which also requires local education agencies to share the curriculum with parents and create a complaint form for individuals to report violations.