Equality in Education

    by CLC Staff

    Legislation passed the House yesterday afternoon that would prohibit North Carolina’s public schools from promoting tenets of what has become popularly known as “Critical Race Theory” or CRT.

    House Bill 187, “Equality in Education,” is sponsored by Representative John Torbett, who serves as a chairman of the House Education K-12 Committee.

    “House Bill 187 demonstrates the General Assembly’s intent that students, teachers, administrators, and all other school employees recognize the equality and rights of all persons,” said Representative Torbett during his introductory remarks on the House Floor.

    “Additionally, it prevents discriminatory concepts from being taught as fact or endorsed in North Carolina school districts,” Rep. Torbett continued. “This includes being taught that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex or other related concepts that reduce individuals to simply their gender or skin color. To be clear, this bill does not change what history standards can and cannot be taught.”

    Right on cue, the far-left North Carolina Justice Center came out against the bill, charging that it would harm students. House Bill 187 is “designed to discourage educators from teaching about the realities of racism and sexism in the United States,” said the group in a statement issued yesterday.

    According to a December 2020 report by the Heritage Foundation, Critical Race Theory “makes race the prism through which its proponents analyze all aspects of American life, categorizing individuals into groups of oppressors and victims. It is a philosophy that is infecting everything from politics and education to the workplace and the military.”

    House Bill 187 states that the General Assembly’s intent is that students, teachers, administrators, and other school employees employ teaching methods and procedures that do the following:

    • Respects the dignity of others;
    • Acknowledges the right of others to express differing opinions; and
    • Fosters and defends intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and freedom of speech and association.

    Public schools would be prohibited from promoting certain identified concepts. “Promote” is defined as “compelling students, teachers, administrators, or other school employees to affirm or profess belief in the identified concepts.” The identified concepts would include the following:

    • 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.

    Public school units would be required to provide at least 30 days advance notice to DPI and the public prior to any of the following:

    • Providing instruction on any of the identified concepts;
    • Engaging speakers, consultants, diversity trainers, or other persons for the purpose of discussing the identified concepts;
    • Engaging speakers, consultants, diversity trainers, or other persons who have previously advocated for the identified concepts in (i) published material such as a book, periodical, or other similar medium, whether in print or online or (ii) a publicly available post on a social media account within the past three years.

    The following would be exempt from the restrictions and advance notice requirements related to the identified concepts:

    • Speech protected by the First Amendment;
    • Materials used for instruction that include the following: 1) The history of an ethnic group, as described in textbooks and instructional materials adopted in accordance with State law, 2) The impartial discussion of controversial aspects of history, 3) The impartial instruction on the historical oppression of a particular group of people based on race, ethnicity, class, nationality, religion, or geographic region;
    • Certain historical documents;
    • Accessing materials for the purpose of research or independent study;
    • Stating concepts or assigning materials that incorporate such concepts if it is made clear the publicschool unit does not sponsor, approve, or endorse the concepts or works.