The controversial critical race theory has been banned from being taught in K-12 across ND
Governor Doug Burgum recently signed a bill that bans Critical Race Theory from being taught in K-12 schools across N.D. The bill went through the N.D. government with little opposition with an initial vote of 76-16 in favor coming from the House and reached Burgum’s desk after a 38-9 vote. Although not currently taught in any school in N.D., the theory is now banned in future education.
In the bill, CRT is defined as the theory that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but that racism is systemically embedded in American society and the American legal system to facilitate racial inequality.
Representative Jim Kasper was the main promoter of the bill. Kasper discussed his views in an interview with KVRR local news.
“This bill starts the engine of stopping critical race theory in its tracks in the state of North Dakota. Our parents deserve it. More importantly, our kids deserve it,” Kasper (R-Fargo) said.
Many of those opposed to CRT fear that it will create a distaste for American society and weaken patriotism. Many of those in favor of the teaching of CRT believe that it is the factual teaching of American history and that racism is not a simple idea but rather a systematic problem.
“This bill is about critical race theory, and it’s mostly about preventing it from being taught in our state,” Sen. Donald Schaible (R-Mott) said.
The overall concern for most of those against CRT being a part of education is the effect it will have on children’s political ideals.
The controversy over CRT has brought many to wonder just how young students should be taught about America’s past.
Educators in the state fear the lack of definition surrounding CRT in practice is something to be concerned with. With America’s attempted genocide of Native Americans and involvement in many wars around the globe, some educators fear that the banning of CRT will force educators to sugarcoat America’s presence in history.
Mike Bisenius, a teacher in Grand Forks recently expressed his concerns in an interview with The Grand Forks Herald.
“As a teacher, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. … I give my kids the good, the bad and the ugly,” Bisenius said.
Some teachers have expressed they will not change their way of teaching but many educators in the state fear the ban will lead to important classroom discussions being curbed as teachers are unsure what exactly crosses the line in actual practice of CRT.
Another issue is how the ban will be monitored. Some school officials fear it will be the parents who will attempt to hold teachers accountable, which may lead to even more controversy.
There are more concerns from lawmakers regarding why a law is being passed that has never been taught in N.D., the fact that there is no set punishment and whether or not this should be dealt with at a local level rather than state, but many of these lawmakers are in the minority as far at the ban goes.
There are many supporters within the N.D. government for the bill, hence its largely in favor of passing. They believe that the future of teaching should not involve CRT and that it may cause white students to believe their success comes from privilege as well as teach students to look at history through racial glasses.
“I want them to learn math, English, history, science, technology, etc. I want them to achieve, believe in themselves. What I don’t want is for them to be taught that their success in life is a result of white privilege based on systematic racism in this free state and country,” Rep. Scott Louser (R – Minot) said.