By C. Mitchell Shaw
This week, South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem announced that she will sign an executive order banning Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in grades K-12 in the state’s public schools. She made the announcement at a town hall meeting in Mobridge and shared the video of the announcement on social media, tweeting, “Critical Race Theory has no place in our South Dakota public education.”
Critical Race Theory has no place in our South Dakota public education.
That’s why yesterday I announced I will be signing an executive order to ban the teachings in our K-12 schools. pic.twitter.com/nPYye6E4oT
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) April 5, 2022
In the tweet, Noem said that she had brought two pieces of legislation forward to ban CRT from K-12 and in the state’s universities. The university bill passed, “So now, in South Dakota going forward, Critical Race Theory cannot be taught in our universities,” she said. However, the legislature “killed the K-12 one,” Noem said, “So, tomorrow, I will be signing an executive order to make sure that Critical Race Theory is not taught to our kids in our public school systems, too.”
Back in December, when Noem introduced her anti-CRT legislation, she released a statement saying, “Americans believe ‘all men are created equal,’ and we also believe the American dream is available to all regardless of race, color, or national origin.” That statement went on to say:
Our schools should teach our children our nation’s true and honest history. They should teach about our successes in establishing a country that is a beacon of freedom to the world and our mistakes along the way. Our children should not, however, be taught the false and divisive message that they are responsible for the shortcomings of past generations and other members of our respective races.
The statement — which is a good indicator of what Noem’s executive order should require of public schools — noted that her legislation would block any education based on the following false tenets:
- That any race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior;
- That individuals should be adversely treated or feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin; or
- That individuals, by virtue of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.
In pushing back against CRT and its “white guilt” divisiveness, Noem adds South Dakota to a growing list of other states — at least 15 — that have moved to ban CRT as of March, according to a report by ABC.