In the past few years, one topic has grabbed headlines across the country: How – and what – public schools instruct our children is a pressing question for millions of American parents.
One of the most controversial topics involves Critical Race Theory (CRT), which Democrat leaders say is a push for teaching “equality,” while Republicans say is simply flat-out racist.
Across the nation, the battle rages on against CRT and whether teachers should be allowed to bring it into schools. Some states have already banned it, while others appear to support it 100%.
Unsurprisingly, the red states tend to condemn it while the blue states lean more towards support. Of course, South Dakota has historically been a Republican stronghold.
So, when Gov. Noem signed an executive order this week that takes aim at “political indoctrination” of kids, it’s likely that most of the state applauded the decision.
The order bans the teaching of certain race-related topics in all public K-12 schools, and tasks the Department of Education with investigating educational materials for “divisive racial concepts.”
Said Noem in a strong statement (vai Fox News):
Political indoctrination has no place in our classrooms.
Our children will not be taught that they are racists or that they are victims and they will not be compelled to feel responsible for the mistakes of their ancestors.
We will guarantee that our students learn America’s true and honest history – that includes both our triumphs and our mistakes.
This is actually the Governor’s second attempt to get a bill like this through.
Early last month, Noem proposed a similar law that was narrowly rejected by the Senate Education Committee (4-3). On the other hand, the Committee passed a bill for state universities that bans teachings that make people feel racial “discomfort.”
Now, the race-related bill is through for K-12, Though It’s Important To Note That “Critical Race Theory” Isn’t Actually Mentioned In The Order. Noem instead used different language in the new rule.
Of course, despite not specifically mentioning CRT, Democrat leaders still aren’t happy with the law.
The South Dakota ACLU accused the Governor of “skirting” the legislative process with the order, while the Associated School Boards of the state slammed the bill as “unnecessary.”
We’ve heard many state school systems claim they don’t teach CRT in classrooms, so such rules shouldn’t have to be passed.
At the same time, we also hear numerous reports from parents and other investigators – often including teachers themselves – who claim the basics of CRT are in fact ingrained in certain classes and instruction.
But at least in regard to South Dakota parents, they can feel a little better knowing the state Board of Education must comply with Gov. Noem’s new rule.
As for the rest of the country, it’s likely that race-related arguments, debates, and policy will continue to come down the pike in the near future.