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North Dakota Gov Signs Bill Banning Critical Race Theory From Public Schools

   DailyWire.com
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum speaks during a press conference announcing plans for the clean up of the Oceti Sakowin protest camp on February 22, 2017 in Mandan, North Dakota.
Stephen Yang/Getty Images

On Friday, the North Dakota state Senate passed a bill banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools; the state House of Representatives passed the bill the day before.

On Friday, Republican Governor Doug Burgum signed the bill into law.

The text of the one-page bill reads in part:

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. A school district or public school may not include instruction relating to critical race theory in any portion of the district’s required curriculum … or any other curriculum offered by the district or school. For purposes of this section, “critical race theory” means 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. The superintendent of public instruction may adopt rules to govern this section.

In a statement sent to The Daily Wire, Governor 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.

Republican Rep. Dan Ruby, who was a sponsor on the bill, also provided a statement to The Daily Wire: “Teaching history and social studies are important and not hindered by a restriction on CRT. Students should learn about how our country’s founding was based on many great principles, as well as the mistakes that have been made throughout our history, but to say that our country is [systemically] racist is denying the truth about the struggles this country has made to ensure equality and opportunities for all minorities.”

As reported by KFYR, Democratic state Rep. Corey Mock had concerns about the apparent lack of an enforcement mechanism in the bill: “Right [now], we are saying there are no consequences. Push back all you want, there’s nothing we or an aggrieved parent can do about it. I am uncomfortable with us rushing into this and creating a bad law that we’re only going to have to work back in the next year if we’re going to make it enforceable.”

Critical Race Theory has rapidly become a controversial issue in public education and in the workplace. Despite many conservatives pointing out that race essentialism is being taught in schools across the country, many progressives deny the presence of Critical Race Theory, as understood academically, in K-12 education.

During a recent debate with Ana Kasparian of “The Young Turks,” Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro countered the increasingly popular progressive talking point that Critical Race Theory isn’t taught in public schools.

After Kasparian claimed that Critical Race Theory “is not taught in elementary schools,” and that the sprint to ban CRT is a “distraction,” Shapiro responded by pointing out that what’s being taught is indeed a “boiled down” version of the race essentialism ideology.

“When you are having elementary school students who are having to check off boxes with regard to their race and then explain to each other whether they are historically privileged or not in fourth or fifth grade, that’s a very dumbed down version of Critical Race Theory,” Shapiro stated.

This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.

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