PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The state Board of Education Standards will publicly consider proposed rules regarding the governor’s ban on “inherently divisive concepts” in South Dakota K-12 schools.

The August 22 teleconference is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. CT. An executive order that Governor Kristi Noem issued April 5, 2022, directed the board to approve rules. Her order says in part that students “should learn America’s true, honest history — both our triumphs and failures.”

Noem’s order cites the nation’s 1964 Civil Rights Act but also appears to draw protective boxes around some behaviors such as “actions committed in the past” by other members of the same race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity or national origin.

The executive order directed the state Department of Education to review all policies, guidelines, websites, best practices, materials, trainings, professional development services and content standards for the presence of “inherently divisive concepts.”

The department’s report from that review was submitted to the governor’s office by the July 1 deadline set in the order. KELOLAND News has requested a copy of the report. The governor’s legal counsel is deciding whether to release it.

On July 18, state Education Secretary Tiffany Sanderson briefed the board about what was found in that review.

“It really gave the department an opportunity to dig in deep as to what our roles and responsibilities are,” Sanderson said.

“Largely our existing policies, resources and material are in line with executive order 2022-02. Out of the thousands of items that our staff reviewed there were a very small number of items that were out of alignment with the executive order, and we’re taking action to either modify or discontinue those as we need to,” she said.

She continued, “There were several areas that were identified for processes that could be strengthened, to either ensure clarity in our own operations internally or consistency in vetting resources just for our programs and services. So we’re working over the coming months to pull together what those processes are for our own staff internally.

“And,” she went on, “then there were numerous other items unrelated to the executive order that were found to be outdated or no longer relevant, and so we’re making sure those no longer are in circulation and are archived appropriately. So our work in follow-up to the executive order will continue through October first.”