The state’s senate approved a bill on Monday that would ban public schools and universities from teaching critical race theory, which examines how race affects American society.
What We Know:
- The bill passed in the Idaho Senate with a vote of 27-8. Included in the measure is a language that forbids educators from teaching that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior.” In addition, the bill also bans teaching that members of certain groups (race, sex, ethnicity, etc.) are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by members of that same group.
- Supporters of the measure claim those teachings are often found in critical race theory and that students are being “indoctrinated” by it. Opponents say teaching critical race theory will only divide students. Idaho Senator Carl Crabtree said students need a learning environment “free of prejudice,” according to CNN.
- However, detractors of the legislation say the bill is looking for a nonexistent problem. “The bill could stifle free speech in the classroom on topics related to race and sex,” said Democratic Senator Ali Rabe to Fox News. Another lawmaker criticized the bill for using vague and undefined concepts that would allow parents to sue over anything they find offensive.
- The legislation comes during a time when many states are seeking to reform the education systems to become more inclusive. Teaching critical race theory is used as a way to shed light on the history and long-term effects of White supremacy.
With the bill passed in the Idaho House and Senate, it now goes to Republican Governor Brad Little to be signed into law.