North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has signed a bill banning the teaching of critical race theory (CRT).
According to the text of the bill, HB 1508 prohibits “the teaching of critical race theory in public schools.”
The brief, one-page bill defines CRT as “the theory that 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.”
“Each school district and public school shall ensure instruction of its curriculum is factual, objective, and aligned to the kindergarten through grade twelve state content standards,” the bill states.
Schools “may not include instruction related to critical race theory in any portion of the district’s require curriculum.”
The bill was approved by the North Dakota House of Representatives on November 11, in a 76-16 vote. The state Senate then passed the bill on November 12 in a vote of 38-9.
In a statement after signing the newly enacted legislation on November 15, Gov. Burgum said, “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.”
Some have argued that the bill would ban discussions of race in the classroom.
“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,” said Libby Skarin, the campaigns director for American Civil Liberties Union North Dakota.
But South Dakota state Senator Janne Myrdal, who introduced the bill in the South Dakota Senate, said, “We’re not talking about teaching history and racism, I deplore racism as I think everybody in this body does … We need to teach true history, and we need to teach all of it.”
The issues surrounding critical race theory and racial divisions in America can be difficult to confront and address. So how should Christians respond?
Check out this Focus on the Family Broadcast, where U.S. Senator Tim Scott and Pastor Al Pittman exhort and encourage Christians to respond to racial tensions in a loving way.
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