RALEIGH — Every NC House Democrat in attendance voted against a bill that would bar components of Critical Race Theory from K-12 classrooms.
House Bill 187, titled “Equality in Education,” passed the House on March 22 via a party-line vote of 68-49.
The Associated Press reported the legislation bans “public school teachers from compelling students to believe they should feel guilty or responsible for past actions committed by people of the same race or sex.”
During the bill’s passage debate Democrats argued that “a comprehensive history education should make students uncomfortable,” according to The Associated Press report.
The bill was filed in late February by House K-12 Education Co-Chair Rep. John Torbett (R-Gaston) along with Reps. Hugh Blackwell (R-Burke), David Willis (R-Union), and Diane Wheatley (R-Cumberland).
The bill seeks to protect freedom of speech, and the rights of others to express differing views would be protected as well as promoting and defending intellectual honesty.
The bill also bars schools from promoting and compelling students to affirm a list of 13 beliefs, mainly those found in the core components of Critical Race Theory:
- One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
- An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.
- An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.
- An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex.
- An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
- Any individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.
- A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist.
- The United States was created by members of a particular race or sex for the purpose of oppressing members of another race or sex.
- The United States government should be violently overthrown.
- Particular character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs should be ascribed to a race or sex or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.
- The rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups.
- All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
- Governments should deny to any person within the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.
Exceptions would include learning about the history of an ethnic group through textbooks and instructional materials adopted under state law, impartial lessons and discussion of history or oppressed groups, as well as lessons involving historical documents or similar materials.
The bill title is the same and the content is very similar to previous legislation, House Bill 324, that was passed and then vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in 2021.
On the national level, Republican Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-09) has reintroduced two measures aimed at Critical Race Theory — the Stop CRT Act and Combatting Racist Training in the Military Act.