Governor bans Critical Race Theory in schools, says it 'threatens the integrity of education'
Mississippi has become the latest state to ban Critical Race Theory from being taught in public K-12 schools and universities.
Governor Tate Reeves said on Twitter that Critical Race Theory 'threatens the integrity of education & aims only to humiliate and indoctrinate.'
After nearly two months of debate, Mississippi has become the latest state to ban Critical Race Theory from being taught in public K-12 schools and universities.
Governor Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2113 on Mar. 14 after it passed the Mississippi Senate in a 32-2 vote. The House had approved it in a 75-43 vote.
The new legislation states that public institutions cannot teach that any "sex, race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior" nor that individuals should be "treated adversely" on the basis thereof.
Furthermore, the bill prevents instructors from conducting a lesson that "compels students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to" the above description.
Violating this law could result in a school losing State Department of Education funding.
[RELATED: Education prof says CRT influences K-12 teaching]
Following the signing, Reeves took to Twitter to announce the importance of the bill.
"In too many schools around the US, CRT is running amok. It threatens the integrity of education & aims only to humiliate and indoctrinate," he stated. "That is why I signed legislation that will help keep CRT where it belongs- out of MS classrooms."
In too many schools around the US, CRT is running amok. It threatens the integrity of education & aims only to humiliate and indoctrinate.
That’s why I signed legislation that will help keep CRT where it belongs – out of MS classrooms.
Watch full video https://t.co/jq5TuIvR2S pic.twitter.com/hSdVCx8ySM
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 14, 2022
The Governor further explains his stance in a 3-minute video addressed to constituents. According to Reeves, the bill's passage marks "a good day for educational truth in Mississippi."
He also sought to clear up any misconceptions about how the bill would impact education in the state.
"I want to set the record straight about Critical Race Theory because the radical left and the media continue to spread misinformation on this critical issue," Reeves stated. "And while they may be okay lying to you, I believe you deserve the truth."
According to Reeves, the push to adopt CRT in public classrooms is a move by a small number of activists who seek to "tear down the unity that has helped make [America] great."
During a vote on the Senate floor in January, Black lawmakers protested the bill's apparent passing by uniformly walking out of the chambers before the final vote was cast. According to a report by Mississippi Today, the 14-member Black Caucus refrained from voting.
Additionally, the Mississippi ACLU encourages opponents of the bill to take action to keep "politicians out of the classroom." According to the group, the bill "censors and discourages youth from civically engaging within their communities."
The bill is highlighted on the ACLU's legislation tracker and flagged as a potential violation of "freedom of speech."
"When politicians pass legislation like Senate Bill 2112, they overstep their authority and get in the way of the teachers and their students," an ACLU spokesperson told Campus Reform. "There's no telling how this legislation could open the door for future interference and classroom censorship."
However, Reeves stands firm in his decision and counters the objections pressed by opponents.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again, all elements of Mississippi and all elements of American history, both the good and the bad, should be taught in our schools, period," Reeves stated.
[RELATED: UPDATED: DeSantis, Noem offer legislation banning Critical Race Theory in public universities]
Mississippi Public Policy Institute, a think tank, praised Reeves for making the bill law.
The group states that the bill follows an October report published by the institute that sought to prove CRT was being peddled in public schools and universities.
Mississippi is now the fifteenth state to ban Critical Race Theory through legislative or executive action.
Campus Reform has reported on the developing trend, tracking legislation from across the country that seeks to crack down on teaching divisive topics about race in publicly funded classrooms.
Campus Reform contacted Governor Reeves and the Mississippi Public Policy Institute for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
Follow @AlexaSchwerha1 on Twitter