Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) signed HB 377 into law this week, making Idaho the first state in the country to ban its public educators from forcing the ideology of critical race theory on students.
The law’s objective is to prevent discrimination and protect intellectual freedom. As the law explains, the principles of critical race theory allegedly “exacerbates and inflames divisions on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or other criteria in ways contrary to the unity of the nation and the well-being of the state of Idaho and its citizens.”
No public institution of higher education, school district, or public school, including a public charter school, shall direct or otherwise compel students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to any of the following tenets: That any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior; That individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin; or that individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin.
No distinction or classification of students shall be made on account of race or color. No course of instruction or unit of study directing or otherwise compelling students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to any of the tenets identified in paragraph (a) of this subsection shall be used or introduced in any institution of higher education, any school district, or any public school, including a public charter school.
Republican state Sen. Jim Rice said the bill stands for the “same principles that have been the foundation of the civil rights movement.” “It’s that every individual should be treated equally under the law, that no one should be compelled to believe something just because someone else does,” he insisted while supporting the bill. Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Missouri have also proposed similar bans.