(Headline USA) North Carolina‘s Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed an anti-indoctrination bill on Friday that would have limited how public school teachers can discuss certain racial concepts like Critical Race Theory.
Cooper separately blocked a bill to raise penalties on those who engage in violent protests.
The vetoed education bill was spearheaded by Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a former educator who is also black.
It comes as parent-based grassroots movements have emerged nationwide in protest of the radical Marxist theories being pushed by teachers unions and university academics.
GOP lawmakers across the country have objected to the alarming promotion of “equity” based agendas that introduce racially loaded concepts like “white privilege,” and “systemic racism.”
Republican governors in eight states have signed bills or budgets into law banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory in K-12 schools or limiting how teachers can discuss “woke” ideologies of racism and sexism.
North Carolina’s bill would have prevented educators from compelling students to personally adopt any of 13 beliefs, and it was the focus of heated debate in the legislature.
Cooper claimed Friday that the measure would have inserted politics into education—although many public school teachers say it would have been a safeguard against the politics already being mandated by school curricula.
“The legislature should be focused on supporting teachers, helping students recover lost learning, and investing in our public schools. Instead, this bill pushes calculated, conspiracy-laden politics into public education,” Cooper claimed in a news release announcing the veto.
Top Republican lawmakers in North Carolina said House Bill 324 sought to reveal questionable classroom activities and respond to parents’ frustrations over how teachers and school districts operate.
But Republicans, do not appear to have sufficient votes to override the Democratic governor’s veto.
State Senate leader Phil Berger, a Republican, issued a statement Friday denouncing Cooper’s move.
“It’s perplexing that Gov. Cooper would veto a bill that affirms the public school system’s role to teach students the full truth about our state’s sometimes ugly past,” he said.
The other vetoed measure would have allowed business owners to sue individuals who damaged their property for three times the actual damages they incurred.
It also would have charged those who assault emergency responders with a more serious felony and jailed those charged with rioting or looting for up to 48 hours without bond.
While Republicans argued the measure would hold rioters and looters accountable and better keep the public and law enforcement safe, Democrats and anti-law-enforcement groups said the punishments outlined in the bill were excessive and could deter people from taking to the streets to exercise their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly.
Cooper said Friday that people who commit crimes during riots should be prosecuted under existing laws and that the legislation was unnecessary.
The governor signed nine other bills, including measures meant to improve the rights of foster parents and protect the rights of pregnant women who are incarcerated.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press