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Monday, April 15, 2024

Arkansas Race-Groomers Sue to Force State to Accept CRT on Curriculum

'In the state of Arkansas, we will not indoctrinate our kids and teach them to hate America or each other. It’s sad the radical left continues to lie and play political games with our kids’ futures...'

(Headline USA) A high school teacher and two students sued Arkansas on Monday over the state’s ban on critical race theory and indoctrination in public schools, asking a federal judge to strike down the restrictions as unconstitutional.

The lawsuit by the teacher and students from Little Rock Central High School, site of the historic 1957 racial desegregation crisis, stems from the state’s decision last year that an Advanced Placement course on African American Studies would not count toward state credit.

The lawsuit argues the restrictions, which were among a number of education changes that Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed into law last year, violate free speech protections under the First Amendment and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

“In the state of Arkansas, we will not indoctrinate our kids and teach them to hate America or each other,” Sanders said in a statement slamming the lawsuit. “It’s sad the radical left continues to lie and play political games with our kids’ futures.”

The lawsuit argues that the definition the law uses for prohibited indoctrination is overly broad and vague.

“It absolutely chills free speech” and “discriminates on the basis of race,” the lawsuit clamied.

“Indeed, defendants’ brazen attack on full classroom participation for all students in 2024 is reminiscent of the state’s brazen attack on full classroom participation for all students in 1957,” it added.

The lawsuit is the second challenge against Sanders’ LEARNS Act, which also created a new school voucher program. The Arkansas Supreme Court in October rejected a challenge to the law that questioned the Legislature’s procedural vote that allowed it to take effect immediately.

“The LEARNS Act has brought much-needed reforms to Arkansas,” Republican Attorney General Tim Griffin said. “I have successfully defended [the law] from challenges before, and I am prepared to vigorously defend it again.”

Arkansas and other Republican-led states in recent years have placed restrictions on how race is taught in the classroom, including prohibitions on critical race theory, a Marxist framework dating to the 1970s that centers on the idea that racism is embedded in the nation’s institutions.

Drawing from the Soviet Union’s 1928 plan to subvert America by inciting racial discord, it replaces the traditional Marxist idea that class struggle is what defines revolutionary movements by instead substituting identity politics—something that made it much more appealing to the wealthy elites on whom anti-American academics depended as their patrons to spread the toxic ideology.

Tennessee activists filed a similar lawsuit last year challenging that state’s efforts to rein in leftist teachers’ efforts to promote concepts of race, gender and bias in classroom—many of which rely on pre-packaged curricular materials from radical activist organizations.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blocked high schools in his state from teaching the AP African American Studies course. The College Board released the latest updated framework for the course in December, months after initial revisions prompted criticism the nonprofit was bowing to conservative backlash to the class.

Arkansas education officials last year said the AP African American studies class couldn’t be part of the state’s advanced placement course offerings because it’s still a pilot program and hasn’t been vetted by the state yet to determine whether it complied with the law.

Central High and the five other schools offering the class said they would continue doing so as a local elective. The class still counts toward a student’s GPA.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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