Lawmakers send anti-CRT bill to the Senate
A bill meant to curb the teaching of elements of Critical Race Theory in public school classrooms fell short of gaining any Democrat support in the North Carolina House on March 22.
The chamber passed House Bill 187, Equality in Education, in a party-line vote of 68-49. Three Republicans had excused absences. The lack of any Democrat support makes a successful veto override a long-shot for supporters. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed an identical bill in 2021.
“To be clear, this bill does not change what history standards can and cannot be taught. It simply prohibits schools from endorsing discriminatory concepts,” said bill sponsor Rep. John Torbett, R-Gaston. “At the end of the day, we should all be able to agree that no student, no teacher, no parent, no school employee, no one should ever be made to feel inferior solely because of the color of their skin, their gender, national origin, race, religion, disability, and familial status, especially in our schools, where learning for our young should be fun and exciting.”
H.B. 187 would ban the teaching of 13 discriminatory concepts in the classroom, including:
- That one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
- An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.
- An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.
- A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist.
- Particular character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs should be ascribed to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.
Democrats objected to the bill on the basis that teaching the truth about U.S. history should make some students feel uncomfortable.
“You have to be made uncomfortable in order to expand your mind and to learn. That’s what education is all about,” said Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg.
“How would this play out in the classroom?” asked Rep. Rosa Gill, D-Wake. “Will it have a chilling effect on teaching of any subject, or response to any subject? This is a bad bill. It falls short of providing a sound, basic education for all of our students, and I ask you to join me in voting no.”