UPDATED: DeSantis, Noem offer legislation banning Critical Race Theory in public universities

These measures apply to the states' public schools and universities.

Campus Reform is monitoring similar bills that would ban CRT in schools.

Both Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem have announced legislation last month that will ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory at public schools and universities in their states. 

If passed in Florida, the Stop the Wrongs to our Kids and Employees (W.O.K.E.) Act would “give business, employees, children and families tools to fight back against woke indoctrination.” 

”“We won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Finally, we must protect Florida workers against the hostile work environment that is created when large corporations force their employees to endure CRT-inspired ‘training’ and indoctrination.”

In June, Florida’s State Board of Education banned the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public K-12 schools. 

Christina Pushaw, press secretary for DeSantis, told Campus Reform, “Colleges and universities would not be prohibited from teaching about the concepts of critical race theory, as long as the instruction is given in an objective manner, without endorsing any of the discriminatory concepts.” 

”So CRT would be taught just like other ideologies that professors discuss with students; just as a professor can teach their students about fascism or communism, without ever endorsing or promoting those ideologies,” Pushaw added. 

[RELATED: Florida education board to ban CRT, with support from Gov. DeSantis and opposition from professors]

If Noem’s bill passes, it would ban any teaching that any “race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior” or any teaching that makes students “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.”

The bill also bans professors from teaching 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.”

[RELATED: 2022 Preview: The biggest higher ed legal, policy debates coming up this year]

Noem said in a public statement that students should not “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 ACLU of South Dakota recently announced its opposition to Noem’s proposed bill.

Campus Reform reached out to Governor Noem’s office for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.