Republicans moved a bill through the House Education Committee on March 14 that would prohibit the teaching of Critical Race Theory in North Carolina public school classrooms.

The GOP ran an identical bill in 2021 that fell victim to a veto by Gov. Roy Cooper.

“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.

Democrats countered that the bill would have a chilling effect on the ability of teachers to share “the truth” about America’s history or racism.

House Bill 187, Equality in Education, 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.

Each of these ideas has been linked to Critical Race Theory. The bill does not address Critical Race Theory directly, but the vote on the measure comes as school systems across the country have adopted a curriculum that promotes those concepts. 

Critical Race Theory’s founder, Derrick Bell, taught that racism and sexism are foundational to American history, culture, and government.

H.B. 187 could be up for a full floor vote in the House as early as Wednesday.