At least 5 more states push critical race theory bans

Critical race theory focuses on a legacy of racism and discrimination that its proponents contend is institutionalized across society
By: | June 1, 2021

Lawmakers in several more states have moved to ban the teaching of critical race theory with laws that set parameters for how educators teach current events and U.S. history.

The Texas Senate will likely forward a bill to Gov. Greg Abbot that The bill says teachers cannot be forced to cover current events and “must explore various view points without giving deference to either side,” The Texas Tribune reported. 

The bill would also prohibit schools from “lessons that teach collective guilt or inherent racism,” The Texan reported.

“Texans roundly reject the ‘woke’ philosophies that espouse that one race or sex is better than another and that someone, by virtue of their race or sex, is innately racist, oppressive or sexist,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement when the bill was passed by the Texas House of Representatives. “These abhorrent concepts have erupted in our culture in an effort to divide us. Unfortunately, they are cropping up in Texas classrooms, even in elementary schools. ”

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said his district, which spent months developing an extensive equity policy, might have to take legal action if the bill becomes law, WFAA-TV reported.

At the very least, the district would need lawyers to help determine what could be taught in classrooms, the station reported.

‘All men are created equal’

Critical race theory, also known as CRT, focuses on a legacy of racism throughout U.S. history, and discrimination that its proponents contended is institutionalized across society.

More from DA: Why critical race theory benefits all students

Critical race theory gives students a more complete understanding of the role of race in U.S. history, and banning it could further entrench racial stereotypes and inequities, says Vida A. Robertson, director of the Center for Critical Race Studies and an associate professor of English and humanities at the University of Houston-Downtown.

“As Americans, who constitutionally maintain that ‘all men are created equal’,  have a civic and moral responsibility to empower our fellow citizens to understand how this foundational principle has not been upheld by our society at all times for all its people,” Robertson told District Administration. 

Yet, the number of states seeking to banish CRT from classrooms and curriculums is growing steadily.

Two Republican lawmakers in Missouri are pushing for a special session to prohibit critical race theory, which they call “radical” and “divisive,” The Kansas City Star reported.

A bill has been introduced to ban CRT in Ohio classrooms while the governors for Georgia and Florida recently urged action against the teaching of critical race theory.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has implored his state’s department of education to keep what he called a “dangerous ideology” out of Georgia classrooms.

And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed a new rule—which will be considered by the Florida Board of Education later this month—that would restrict critical theory in schools, the Herald-Tribune reported