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On April 28, 2021, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 377, which bans public institutions from teaching particular elements of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and forcing students to accept it. It also bans public funding for any related curriculum.
Idaho becomes the first state in the nation to enact prohibitions against CRT in public education. While many cheered the bill, critics say more must be done.
HB 377 aims to insure “dignity and nondiscrimination in public education,” and bans the teaching of any theories that “exacerbate and inflame divisions on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or other criteria in ways contrary to the unity of the nation and the well-being of the state of Idaho and its citizens.”
DIGNITY AND NONDISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. (1) It is the intent of the legislature that administrators, faculty members, other employees, and students at public schools, including public charter schools and institutions of higher education, respect the dignity of others, acknowledge the right of others to express differing opinions, and foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and freedom of speech and association.
(2) The Idaho legislature finds that tenets outlined in subsection (3)(a) of this section, often found in “critical race theory,” undermine the objectives outlined in subsection (1) of this section and exacerbate and inflame divisions on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or other criteria in ways contrary to the unity of the nation and the well-being of the state of Idaho and its citizens.
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