PIERRE, SD (KELO) — Universities and colleges under the control of the South Dakota Board of Regents will no longer be able to require students to attend orientations and training based on what Governor Kristi Noem defines as critical theory of race.
HB 1012 was signed into law Monday along with several other education bills. The bill was originally intended to ban the teaching of divisive concepts in the classroom and no state money could be used for actions that would be prohibited by the bill’s passage. But the bill that was signed into law was heavily amended to apply only to college and university guidance and training.
This law does not prohibit higher education professors from teaching such concepts in college education, answering questions about concepts that divide guidance and training, nor does it violate the First Amendment. or academic freedom and intellectual diversity.
“No student or teacher should have to endorse critical race theory to attend, graduate or teach at our public universities,” Governor Noem said in a statement. “The university must remain a place where freedom of thought and expression is encouraged, not stifled by political agendas.”
Throughout the legislative session, the governor’s office provided an example of a university professor from South Dakota who they said taught critical race theory. KELOLAND News spoke with Dr. Dyanis Conrad-Popova about her program, which does not include critical race theory, according to the University of South Dakota professor.
Critical race theory is an academic theory invented in 1989 by researcher Kimberlé Crenshaw. The theory is a branch of critical legal studies and is defined by the American Bar Association as a theory that analyzes the role that race and racism play in society to determine whether laws have inherent social biases.
The divisive concepts in the bill are defined as follows:
- That any race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity or national origin is inherently superior or inferior;
- That individuals should be discriminated against or treated unfavorably because of their race, color, religion, sex, ethnic origin or national origin;
- That the moral character of an individual is intrinsically determined by his race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity or national origin;
- That an individual, because of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity or national origin, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
- That individuals, by virtue of their race, color, religion, sex, ethnic origin or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, religion, sex, ethnic origin or national origin;
- An individual must feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin; Where
- Meritocracy or traits such as a strong work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race or gender to oppress members of another race or gender.
A similar bill to ban critical race theory from K-12 education failed the legislature in the 2022 session. This bill was the subject of several hours of debate. debate from lawmakers, but ultimately did not find enough support in the Senate Education Committee to be debated in the Senate.
Unlike HB 1012, the bill for K-12 would have limited what could be taught in the classroom.