by Emma Colton
April 29, 2021
Idaho has become the first state to ban “indoctrinating” students with critical race theory lessons in public schools.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed a bill late Wednesday that will allow critical race theory to be taught but bans teachers from making students “affirm, adopt or adhere to” principles that say individuals of a certain race, sex, ethnicity, or religion are responsible for past historical actions.
It also bans teachers from forcing students to accept principles that say a group of people defined by sex, race, ethnicity, or religion are inferior or superior to others.
“The claim that there is widespread, systemic indoctrination occurring in Idaho classrooms is a serious allegation,” Little wrote of the bill. “Most worryingly, it undermines popular support for public education in Idaho.”
The move comes as teaching critical race theory, which argues that the United States is a fundamentally racist country and citizens can be inherently racist based on their skin color, has spread in schools around the country in recent months.
Both the state Senate and House passed the bill earlier this month, with lawmakers arguing the lessons “indoctrinate” the country’s youth.
“The longer we wait, the more our kids are indoctrinated with this garbage,” state Rep. Heather Scott added last week.
Republican state Sen. Jim Rice said the bill stands for the “same principles that have been the foundation of the civil rights movement.”
“It’s that every individual should be treated equally under the law, that no one should be compelled to believe something just because someone else does,” he insisted while supporting the bill.
Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Missouri have also proposed similar bans.
Former President Donald Trump had banned the federal government and its contractors from teaching critical race theory, but President Joe Biden reversed his predecessor’s executive order when he took office.