(USA Features) State senators in Idaho have passed a bill banning the instruction of “Critical Race Theory” in public schools and universities.
Known as H 377, the bill passed mostly along party lines 27-8 in the GOP-controlled chamber. One Republican, Sen. Dan Johnson, joined with Democrats in opposing the measure.
According to the language of the bill, it mandates that no public schools shall direct or otherwise compel students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to” critical race theory or similar curriculum, such as “that individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin.”
The bill also bars the state board of education and public schools from expending funds for anything it prohibits.
The measure now heads to GOP Gov. Brad Little’s office, where he is expected to sign it.
Critical Race Theory has been blasted by critics who believe it actually teaches racism against certain segments of the population, mostly whites.
But Senate education committee chairman Steven Thayn, a Republican, told reporters the legislation doesn’t ban the instruction of curriculum.
“It doesn’t ban anything. What it says is that it cannot compel students to adopt or adhere to certain principles. … Critical race theory tends to undermine the thesis that each of us [is] responsible for our actions,” Thayn said.
Earlier this month, Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin created a task force to “protect our young people from the scourge of critical race theory, socialism, communism, and Marxism.”
“We need to look at what Florida, Arkansas, and North Carolina are doing to combat these poisonous theories,” McGeachin said.
Earlier this month, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation banning the instruction of CRT in Florida schools, calling it hateful material.
“There’s no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory,” he said. “Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”