South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Will Sign Executive Order Banning Critical Race Theory in State’s K-12 Schools
“Critical Race Theory has no place in our South Dakota public education.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said she will sign an executive order banning Critical Race Theory in the state’s K-12 schools after the legislature killed the bill.
The legislature passed the bill that bans Critical Race Theory in universities.
“I brought two bills this legislative season that banned Critical Race Theory from being taught in our classrooms, in our K-12 schools and another one that banned it in our universities,” said Noem. “The legislature supported and passed it and I signed into law the university one. So now, in South Dakota going forward, Critical Race Theory cannot be taught in our universities. They killed the K-12 one. So tomorrow I will be signing an executive order to make sure that Critical Race Theory is not taught to our kids, in our public schools, too.”
Enjoyed visiting Mobridge this morning to discuss pertinent issues with South Dakotans and how I can continue our work in making our state one of the best states in America to live. pic.twitter.com/pWAhIxsaRs
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) April 4, 2022
Critical Race Theory has no place in our South Dakota public education.
That’s why yesterday I announced I will be signing an executive order to ban the teachings in our K-12 schools. pic.twitter.com/nPYye6E4oT
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) April 5, 2022
In March, Noem signed HB 1012 into law banning Critical Race Theory in universities and colleges under the South Dakota Board of Education.
However, the bill only applies “to orientation and training.” The law does not stop teachers “from teaching such concepts in academic instruction, answering questions about divisive concepts in orientation and training, nor does it violate the First Amendment or academic freedom and intellectual diversity.”
The state Senate defeated the K-12 portion of the bill with criticism coming from Republicans and Democrats:
“No one is more opposed to critical race theory [than me],” said Sen. Jim Bolin, R-Canton. “[But] we should not be putting requirements both for Board of Regents, the Board of Technical Education and our K-12 system [into the same bill].”
Ultimately, the amendment failed on a close 18-15 vote. It was a different story for the standalone bill, however.
Democrats and a few moderate Republicans did attempt to dissuade colleagues from adopting a measure they painted as extreme. Sen. Reynold Nesiba, D-Sioux Falls, characterized the measure as akin to what “they do in Russia.”
“So a professor has free speech in his or her classroom,” said Nesiba, noting the measure excludes “content or conduct” of a classroom from its strictures. “But if you walk across campus and happen to be doing an orientation, you lose that free speech?”
Sen. David Wheeler, R-Huron, also cautioned against codifying a list of “divisive concepts” in state law, as a potential abuse of power.
“It’s a bad power that we should not be in the habit of using,” Wheeler warned.
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