South Dakota governor signs order banning critical race theory in K-12 schools

By Kendall Tietz

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at restricting Critical Race Theory in the state’s K-12 public schools.

Gage Skidmore

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem

Noem signed Executive Order 2022-02 which bans the teaching of “inherently divisive concepts.” The order lists Critical Race Theory (CRT) as “a political and divisive ideology that teaches a distorted view” of the U.S. and its institutions.

“[CRT] compels students to view the world though a purely racial lens and to judge others based on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character,” the executive order states. “The inherently divisive concepts that underlay Critical Race Theory have no place in our classrooms.”

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

“Political indoctrination has no place in our classrooms,” Noem said in a press release announcing the executive order. “Our children will not be taught that they are racists or that they are victims, and they will not be compelled to feel responsible for the mistakes of their ancestors. We will guarantee that our students learn America’s true and honest history – that includes both our triumphs and our mistakes.”

“Inherently divisive concepts” are defined in the order as anything that advances “ideas in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” such as claims that individual’s race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity or national origin make them inherently superior or inherently racist.

The executive order states the Department of Education (DOE) can’t compel employees, students or teachers “to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to inherently divisive concepts.” The state’s Board of Education must also ensure that its Content Standards don’t promote any restricted concepts.

Noem’s order also tasks the Secretary of Education and the DOE with reviewing policies, materials and trainings within the department that might promote “inherently divisive concepts,” which, if discovered, must end or be removed by Oct. 1.

On March 28, Noem signed HB 1012, which bans mandatory CRT trainings and orientations at colleges in South Dakota. She also signed Executive Order 2021-11in July 2021 which blocked certain federal civics and history grants over concerns that they had ties to CRT.

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Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ardfern and Gage Skidmore

3 thoughts on “South Dakota governor signs order banning critical race theory in K-12 schools

  1. The teaching of civics and how our nation’s experiment in democracy has evolved to include the Civil Rights Act of 1964 cited in this article is indeed important and should not be neglected. Our founders in the Declaration of Independence laid out our ideals and, in our Constitution, through a divided balance of power, a way of implementing those ideals in a way that would allow for change and evolution while resisting the concentration of power too much in any one hand.

    The goal of liberty and justice for all is something that needs to be continually strived for, celebrated and taught in our schools, not critical race theory.

  2. Brave,strong, knowledgeable woman. Yes, im pretty sure she’s a woman. Maybe someone like Meg Hansen could do the same for us here. VOTE!

  3. Until we have test scores like Asian and North Euro countries the only things
    that should be taught are Reading Writing Arithmetic Science Biology Chemistry
    and The real History, not made up ones. Trades for the less proficient and a
    sorely needed life skills, finance’s surviving in the real world.

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