(WASHINGTON) — Since 2020, legislation on race education has popped up across the country. A total of 35 states so far have signed into law or proposed legislation banning or restricting the teaching of critical race theory, the academic discipline at the center of the debate.
Critical race theory, mostly taught in universities and colleges, seeks to understand how racism has shaped U.S. laws.
Many legislators have been invoking critical race theory broadly in their attempts to restrict discussions of race in the classroom and in government agency diversity training.
These Republican-led efforts have continued to move forward in many states across the country. However, in some states, the bills have fallen short.
A total of 16 states so far have signed into law bills restricting education on race in classrooms or state agencies.
There are currently 19 states that are considering bills or policies that restrict race education in schools or state agencies.
Six states failed to pass this type of legislation.
Eight states have yet to introduce any legislation on this topic.
Officials who back these bills argue that educators are indoctrinating students with certain lessons on race that make people feel “discomfort” or “shame.”
“We won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has introduced restrictions on diversity education for schools as well as private corporations.
He continued, “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.”
Educators and some parents argue these bills would censor teachers and students, as well as place restrictions on discussions on racial oppression.
Proponents of critical race theory say that some opponents are portraying “critical race theory” as something harmful to reverse progress made in diversity and racial equity.
“There’s long-term resentment against people of color speaking up for civil rights,” Justin Hansford, a law professor at Howard University, told ABC News. “If you don’t see race, that doesn’t really help anybody. It’s ignoring the truth.”
Lawsuits against anti-CRT laws have already popped up in two of the states that passed them, Oklahoma and New Hampshire.
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