The inclusion of critical race theory being included in classroom education has sparked a heated debate across the U.S. in recent months.
In Tennessee, state legislators voted to banish the controversial ideology from virtually all aspects of public and charter school curriculum.
“Defined by the content of their character”
According to the Washington Examiner, Republican state Rep. John Ragan was among those who sponsored the legislation, arguing that it was needed to prevent “self-appointed guardians of equity” from exploiting race in their “pursuit of political power.”
While touting the perceived positive impact of the new bill, he noted that leaders “have much work left for our children to be able to realize the full promise of our nation.”
His remarks came during an address of the Tennessee Assembly on Tuesday, during which he argued that “our children must be educated that they stand as individuals, equal before our laws, as they will one day stand before the Creator.”
Educators should teach children that “their identity is defined by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, their sex, ethnicity, or membership in some social class,” Ragan added.
As written, the bill prohibits teachers from leading lessons that teach an individual “is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive” based on race or sex.
“We will not tolerate discrimination”
Furthermore, educators would also be banned from teaching that the U.S. is “fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist” or advocating for the “violent overthrow” of the government.
Of course, the proposed legislation does allow for the discussion of “historical oppression of a particular group of people based on race, ethnicity, class, nationality, religion, or geographic region” as long as it is presented in an impartial manner.
Republican Gov. Bill Lee did not immediately indicate whether he intends to sign the bill into law.
This effort comes on the heels of a similar bill passed last month in Idaho that has subsequently sparked protests outside of the state legislature.
Republican state Rep. Wendy Horman said of that bill that it serves as “Idaho’s statement that we will not tolerate discrimination and we are reserving education policy and curricular choices to the state and local institutions and schools.”
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Author: Adam Peters
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