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Freedom from CRT: State bans on critical race theory start in time for July Fourth

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 7/3/2022 Jeremiah Poff
FILE - People protest outside the offices of the New Mexico Public Education Department's office, on Nov. 12, 2021, in Albuquerque, N.M. As conservative-run states across the U.S. move to restrict discussion of race, gender, and identity in the classroom, progressive-run states are trying to prioritize those discussions. In New Mexico, education officials are moving forward with a social studies curriculum that increases focus on identity, race and "privilege or systemic inequity." (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File) © Cedar Attanasio/AP FILE - People protest outside the offices of the New Mexico Public Education Department's office, on Nov. 12, 2021, in Albuquerque, N.M. As conservative-run states across the U.S. move to restrict discussion of race, gender, and identity in the classroom, progressive-run states are trying to prioritize those discussions. In New Mexico, education officials are moving forward with a social studies curriculum that increases focus on identity, race and "privilege or systemic inequity." (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)

Several state laws banning public schools from teaching critical race theory went into effect Friday.

Florida, Georgia, and South Dakota were among those that passed bills banning critical race theory in certain settings during the 2022 legislative session.

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Critical race theory is an academic framework that claims that the culture and institutions of the United States are systemically racist and oppressive to racial minorities. To combat this systemic racism, critical race theory calls for "anti-racism" to dismantle the social standards and practices that have perpetuated white privilege.

The bans that went into effect Friday are the latest state laws prohibiting schools from teaching students through the lens of the theory. Since the beginning of the 2021 legislative session, a number of states have enacted bans on critical race theory, including Texas, Arizona, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama.

Florida's "Stop WOKE Act"

Championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), the nation's most expansive ban on critical race theory went into effect Friday after a state judge declined to block the law.

The statute not only bars critical race theory from public schools, but also prohibits workplaces from requiring employees to undergo certain types of racial sensitivity training.

The law has faced several lawsuits prior to going into effect. Challengers claim that the law "silences speech aimed at combating racism and sexism — speech that is vital to the plaintiffs’ operation of their businesses."

South Dakota's college-related ban

In South Dakota, House Bill 1012 went into effect Friday, restricting the state's universities from "condition[ing] enrollment or attendance in a class, training, or orientation on the basis of race or color."

The law also says that universities "may not direct or compel a student to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to divisive concepts" and "may not require their students or employees to attend or participate in any training or orientation that teaches, advocates, acts upon, or promotes divisive concepts."

In a statement, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) said that "college should be a place where freedom of thought and expression are encouraged — not stifled by indoctrination and political agendas."

"Critical race theory should not be forced on our students, and this legislation will prevent that from happening," the governor said.

Georgia's "Protect Students First Act"

The Protect Students First Act, which bans the teaching of "divisive concepts," was passed by the Georgia legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA), and it also went into effect Friday.

The law defines divisive concepts to include instruction that "one race is inherently superior to another race," that the "United States of America is fundamentally racist," and claiming that "an individual, solely by virtue of his or her race, bears individual responsibility for actions committed in the past by other individuals of the same race."

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The law, which was part of a set of education-related bills the governor signed into law in April, also requires students to compete in athletics based on their biological sex without regard for gender identity.

 

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Tags: Education, News, Critical Race Theory, News, Race and Diversity, Florida, Georgia, South Dakota

Original Author: Jeremiah Poff

Original Location: Freedom from CRT: State bans on critical race theory start in time for July Fourth

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