Idaho’s State Senate has approved legislation banning schools from teaching critical race theory and “indoctrinating” students.
Lawmakers voted 28-7 to block the divisive race-based teaching theory Monday, with the bill — already approved by the House last week — now being fast-tracked to Republican Gov. Brad Little.
The bill prohibits teachers from forcing students into belief systems that claim that groups defined by sex, race, ethnicity or religion are inferior or superior to others.
It also bars them from making students “affirm, adopt or adhere to” belief systems claiming people of any race, sex, ethnicity, religion or national origin are responsible for past actions by people of the same group.
The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Carl Crabtree, who insisted that it “does not intend to prohibit discussion in an open and free way.”
“It is a preventative measure. It does not indicate that we have a rampant problem in Idaho. But we don’t want to get one,” he said.
Fellow Republican Sen. Jim Rice said that it stands for the “same principles that have been the foundation of the Civil Rights movement.”
“It’s that every individual should be treated equally under the law, that no one should be compelled to believe something just because someone else does,” he insisted while supporting the bill.
The vote came as critical race theory has divided lawmakers, teachers, students and parents across the US, including a series of revolts at several Big Apple private schools.
As well as examining the history of racism and its influence on American society, the theory has also led to complaints of students being forced to acknowledge their so-called “white privilege.”
Idaho Republicans said they were concerned that federal authorities could force critical race theory on students, calling it “contrary to the unity of the nation and the well-being” of the state.
The Idaho State Board of Education, which sets policy for Idaho public education, didn’t take a position on the legislation.
With Post wires