Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed into law on Friday a bill recently passed by the state Senate banning Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools, grades K-12.
Burgum gave the bill his assent after it cleared the state Senate with a vote of 38-9 and the state House with a vote of 76-16. Republicans pledged the bill aimed to prevent children from being indoctrinated with a political ideology.
“This bill is about critical race theory, and it’s mostly about preventing it from being taught in our state,” Republican state Sen. Donald Schaible said Friday.
“It’s a political ideology … It is an ideology that if we can indoctrinate it into our children young it would have a political consequence on our children later,” Republican state Sen. Janne Myrdal said. “We’re not talking about teaching history and racism, I deplore racism as I think everybody in this body does.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) North Dakota campaigns director Libby Skarin s denounced the bill as a “direct affront to the constitutional rights of teachers and students across North Dakota by restricting conversations around race in our schools”
“This bill is intended to inflame a political reaction, not further a legitimate educational interest,” she added
I'm extremely disappointed to see the ND Senate has passed HB 1508, a bill that will censor discussions of race in classrooms under the guise of banning critical race theory. But it's not over yet – Gov. Burgum should veto this ridiculous bill. https://t.co/PfEq6CNzEJ
— Libby Skarin (@LibbySkarin) November 12, 2021
The bill defined Critical Race Theory as pushing an idea in which “racism is not merely the product of learned individual bias or prejudice, but that racism is systemically embedded in American society and the American legal system to facilitate racial inequality.” Public schools will be further required to “ensure instruction on its curriculum is factual” and will not be permitted to “include instruction relating to critical race theory.”
In a statement to Fox News, Gov. Doug Burgum said the bill will protect parental rights while respecting school board autonomy.
“This bill addresses the concerns of parents while preserving the decision-making authority of local school boards to approve curriculum that is factual, objective and aligned with state content standards,” said Burgum.
According to the Brookings Institution, as many as eight states (Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, New Hampshire, Arizona, and South Carolina) have passed bills this year seeking to ban or seriously curtail Critical Race Theory in the classrooms.
“The legislations mostly ban the discussion, training, and/or orientation that the U.S. is inherently racist as well as any discussions about conscious and unconscious bias, privilege, discrimination, and oppression. These parameters also extend beyond race to include gender lectures and discussions,” noted the Brookings Institution.