By Kimberlee Kruesi -May 25, 2021
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee is the latest state to ban teachers from teaching certain concepts of race and racism in public schools.
Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed into law on Monday a measure that attracted some of the most impassioned debates inside the GOP-controlled General Assembly this year. He signaled his support after it cleared the Legislature, arguing that students should learn “the exceptionalism of our nation,” not things that “inherently divide” people.
“We need to make sure that our kids recognize that this country is moving toward a more perfect union, that we should teach the exceptionalism of our nation and how people can live together and work together to make a greater nation, and to not teach things that inherently divide or pit either Americans against Americans or people groups against people groups,” Lee told reporters at the time.
The legislation, which was amended several times in the final days of the legislative session, of an education bill, takes effect July 1. Among other things, Tennessee’s teachers can’t instruct that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously.”
“Impartial discussion of controversial aspects of history” is still permitted under the law, and limits on teacher speech won’t apply when a teacher is responding to a student’s question or referring to a historic figure or group.
However, the penalty for a transgression is steep: The state education commissioner could withhold funds from any school found to be in violation.
While most of the majority-white GOP House and Senate caucuses supported the effort, Black Democratic lawmakers warned that it will make teachers fearful about telling students anything about how race and racism have shaped the nation’s history.
Tennessee’s new law is similar to laws enacted in Idaho and Oklahoma. In Arkansas, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson allowed a version that primarily focused on employee training to become law without his signature.
Republican lawmakers also passed bills about sexual education. Lee signed a requirement that school districts to alert parents 30 days in advance of any instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity, and let them opt their student out. Lee also approved legislation allowing parents to view information about contraception included within a family life curriculum, and opt their children out of those lessons as well.
This story originally appeared here.
Watch: Vernon Jones Blasts Critical Race Theory: ‘It’s Racism’
On Monday, Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones (R) slammed critical race theory as “racism” that shouldn’t be taught to America’s youth.
“I’m against it. You know, Maria, if you asked 10 different people what is critical race theory, you get 10 different answers,” Jones explained to Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “So, we do know one thing that everybody knows is race-based. And if you teach it in school, it’s racism.”
Bartiromo pointed out that kids are being labeled as racists before they have a chance to speak their minds. “Tell me about the impact to this on our population.”
“See, Maria, that’s what I was saying earlier. You ask 10 different people, you get 10 different definitions. It’s been taught different ways in different schools, and it’s being abused,” the gubernatorial candidate explained. “And the problem is you are taking young people who are next to another young person and pitting one against the other, and you say to even white children, ‘Look, you’re responsible for what happened hundreds and hundreds of years ago,’ and they don’t have a clue.”
“So, it being race-based, and you are teaching in a way that you’re teaching racism. It does not make any sense. I’m totally against it. Georgia shouldn’t have it. I call on our governor to stop it,” Jones explained. “I was with the local school board just recently the other night. I had my representative there saying, ‘Look, ban it in those local schools.’ There is no place for critical race theory. We can’t talk about history. We can’t talk about things we know about, teach about things we don’t know about, where it’s becoming abusive. And it’s racism and race-based. What else can you say? It just should not be taught.”
Critical race theory is based on the 1619 project, which New York Times writer Nike Hannah-Jones played a vital role in writing. The central theme behind the Project’s conclusion is 1619 is the year slaves were brought from Africa to the United States, which they claim is when America was actually founded. The Project also surmises that the American Revolution was fought to preserve slavery. Both of those arguments are factually inaccurate. America’s foundation was solidified in 1776. The American Revolution was fought so that the United States could gain independence from Great Britain.
This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.