Governor’s proposed ban on critical race theory in S.D. schools, universities has been filed

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — True to her word, Governor Kristi Noem is asking the South Dakota Legislature to declare what can’t be presented or discussed in public schools, state technical colleges and state universities.

Her bill, titled An Act To Protect Children From Critical Race Theory, joined the list of pre-filed legislation Wednesday. It is HB 1012.

State lawmakers start their 2022 session at noon CT Tuesday. If the governor’s two-page bill passes in current form, however, its text won’t make any actual reference to critical race theory.

The words ‘critical race theory’ are only in the title, which doesn’t appear in state law.

The legislation says that students may not be directed or compelled “to personally affirm, adopt or adhere” to various things, including “That individuals, by virtue of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of
the same race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.”

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Lana Greenfield, a retired teacher, agreed to introduce the bill for the governor.

Noem, a Republican, has stirred a fight on the topic for the past year. She issued an executive order in July attacking the Democrat administration of President Joe Biden and banned the state Department of Education from pursuing any federal grants in civics or history until after the 2022 legislative session.

The state Board of Regents that governs the six state universities also took action after the governor sent letters to the regents.

Noem’s bill also says that no state money can be spent for actions that would be prohibited if her legislation passes.

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