Idaho Becomes First State To Ban Critical Race Theory After Republican Governor Signs Bill

Idaho Governor Brad Little recently signed a measure that sought to ban critical race theory from the state’s schools — becoming the first in the country to do so. 

The Republican governor signed the bill Wednesday night tagging the move as a “historic win” in the state’s push to preserve freedom of speech and expression, among others.

“It is the intent of the legislature that administrators, faculty members, other employees, and students at public schools, including public charter schools and institutions of higher education respect the dignity of others, acknowledge the right of others to express differing opinions, and foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and freedom of speech and association,” the proposal stated.

However, it noted that the Idaho legislature “finds that the tenets outlined, often found ‘critical race theory,’ undermining these objectives.” 

“VICTORY: Idaho becomes the first state in the nation to ban critical race theory indoctrination in public schools,” writer Christopher F. Rufo posted on Twitter. 

“Governor Brad Little signed the bill into law, which will prohibit schools from promoting race essentialism, collective guilt, and neo-segregation. A historic win!” he added.

Reports noted that the measure — initially filed as House Bill 377 — sponsored by Republican state Rep. Carl Crabtree, will “prevent educators from making students ‘affirm, adopt or adhere to’ belief systems that claim individuals of any race, sex, ethnicity, religion or national origin are responsible for past actions done by members of the same group.”

It also prohibits educators “from forcing students onto belief systems that claim a group of people as defined by sex, race, ethnicity or religion are inferior or superior to others.”

“No public institution of higher education, school district, or public school, including a public charter school, shall direct or otherwise compel students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to any of the following tenets: That any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior; That individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin; or that individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin,” the legislation partly states.

“No distinction or classification of students shall be made on account of race or color.  No course of instruction or unit of study directing or otherwise compelling students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to any of the tenets identified in paragraph (a) of this subsection shall be used or introduced in any institution of higher education, any school district, or any public school, including a public charter school,” it added.

“Preventive measure”

Crabtree, the GOP state lawmaker who sponsored the proposal, noted that the bill is meant to be a “preventative measure.”

“’This bill does not intend to prohibit discussion in an open and free way. It is a preventative measure,” he said. 

“It does not indicate that we have a rampant problem in Idaho. But we don’t want to get one.”

The American Bar Association noted that ‘critical race theory’ recognizes “that race is not biologically real but is socially constructed and socially significant.”

The theory also acknowledges that racism is a normal feature of society and is embedded within systems and institutions, like the legal system, that replicates racial inequality. This dismisses the idea that racist incidents are aberrations but instead are manifestations of structural and systemic racism,” it added.

During his rebuttal speech to Democratic President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress, Senator Tim Scott (South Carolina) also touched on the issue of critical race theory — blasting it for its divisiveness.

“Today, kids are being taught that the color of their skin defines them again — and if they look a certain way, they’re an oppressor,” the GOP senator said.

“From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress at all, by doubling down on the divisions we’ve worked so hard to heal.”

“You know this stuff is wrong,” Scott, an African-American who is also the first Black senator from South Carolina, added.

“Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different types of discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.”

This is not the first time that Republicans are pushing to ban ‘critical race theory.’

In March, Sen. Tom Cotton (Arkansas) introduced a legislation that would keep critical race theory out of the military. The bill also focuses on weeding out “anti-American” ideas such as the claim that America is a “fundamentally racist country.” 

Earlier that month, GOP Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also slammed critical race theory — saying these ideologies will not be taught in Florida schools.

Gov. DeSantis said, “There’s no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory, teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”

Rep. Madison Cawthorn — who is the youngest member of the 117th Congress — also blasted moves to introduce ‘critical race theory’ in schools saying authorities should drop “agenda driven message” in educational institutions.

“Gov. DeSantis is once again stepping up by condemning and promising to keep critical race theory out of FL schools,” Cawthorn wrote.

“We should not be teaching our kids an agenda driven message when they are receiving their education. Our kids should never be taught to hate our amazing nation,” he added.

Steeve Strange

Steeve is the CEO & Co-Founder of The Scoop.

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