Leftists claimed that the measure sought to define how teachers can discuss certain concepts about race and racism inside the classroom.
GOP Senate leader Phil Berger said his chamber was taking action as Republicans across the country seek to combat the Marxist dogma, backed by the leadership of Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is both black and a former teacher.
Robinson called indoctrination inside classrooms a “pervasive issue.”
The latest version of the North Carolina bill would prevent teachers from compelling the state’s 1.5 million K-12 public school students to personally adopt any ideas from a list of 13 beliefs from the ‘woke’ curriculum.
It comes as outraged parents nationwide have begun to rise up and protest the seepage of the leftist social-engineering agenda into their children’s education.
“We don’t want to indoctrinate folks in what I think is the core of Critical Race Theory, which is that race is determinative of whether or not someone is going to be successful, that race is determinative of all matter of things that happen in society and that past discrimination justifies current discrimination,” Berger told The Associated Press in an interview before unveiling the updated education measure.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will likely veto the bill, and Republicans would almost assuredly lack the votes needed for an override.
“Let’s stop injecting calculated, conspiracy-laden politics into public education and start making real investments that ensure a great teacher in every classroom,” Cooper’s statement said.
Berger also announced Wednesday that Senate Republicans will seek a constitutional amendment to put before voters in March 2022 aimed that he said is aimed at “affirming our commitment to the principles of the Civil Rights Act.”
Republicans backing the bill that was discussed in an education committee Wednesday have thus far identified three counties—Durham, Mecklenburg and Wake—where teachers have either attended or could soon attend events involving ideas that Republicans worry could trickle down to students.
Robinson said in an interview that his office will release a report next week showing cases where teachers would have violated the proposed law. The report stems from a task force he assembled in March that invites people to report indoctrination.
The pernicious Critical Race Theory movement caught former President Donald Trump’s attention last year after a conservative watchdog journalist appeared on Fox News and discussed racial bias training within the federal government that Trump found objectionable.
Trump subsequently issued an executive order barring federal contractors from conducting racial sensitivity training and teaching any of nine “divisive concepts” he outlined.
Though a federal judge blocked Trump’s directive and President Joe Biden rescinded the diversity training ban, Republican-controlled legislatures have adopted language from Trump’s executive order in bills largely targeting schools.
As of Monday, 26 states have considered legislation or other steps to limit how the leftist concepts can be imposed on students, according to an analysis from Education Week.
Berger, who previously expressed concern with the bill the House passed along party lines in May, said it now clarifies that it’s OK for teachers to discuss these ideas involving race, as long as they don’t “promote” them by compelling students, teachers or other school workers to personally adopt the beliefs.
His revisions to House Bill 324 added five prohibited concepts, including any claim that the U.S. government should be violently overthrown or that all Americans are not created equal.
School districts would have to provide instruction materials promoting any of the 13 concepts to members of the public upon request. People also could get detailed information about speakers, consultants or diversity trainers hired by a district who discussed or previously advocated for such concepts.
But Democrats remained unmoved in their determination to push the concepts as they seek to dramatically revise and reimagine American culture and to reshape it into a socialist dystopia.
State Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, a Wake County Democrat, called Berger’s bill “un-American” and accused it of “shutting down the public square” and establishing a speech code even though no such right has ever been interpreted as it applies to public school curricula.
Berger said the Left’s alarmism was overblown.
“If they’re not indoctrinating students, then there should be no concern about the bill as drafted because all the bill prohibits is that indoctrination. So if it’s not happening, they shouldn’t be up in arms,” Berger said.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press