South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has authored new legislation attempting to ban critical race theory (CRT) from local public schools and universities, as well as career and vocational colleges.
Noem announced the initiative at a press release on Monday, stating that the proposed bill protects students against the highly divisive intellectual movement.
If this bill passes, any state-accredited institution and school district under the supervision of the Board of Regents or Board of Technical Education would be prohibited from compelling students “to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to any of the following tenets:”
- That any race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior.
- That individuals should be adversely treated or feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.
- That individuals, by virtue of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.
South Dakota: No to Critical Race Theory
Apart from this bill, Noem also signed an executive order stopping the South Dakota Education Department from using $2.1 million in grants towards history and civics, fearing possible ties with CRT.
However, critics have also voiced their concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota publicly opposed the bill Monday, explaining that attempts to block the teaching of CRT could limit US history discussions.
The group also said that school districts in the state should be able to craft their own curricula.