House committee advances Noem’s critical race theory bill

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Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 9:59 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A South Dakota legislative panel has advanced a bill backed by Gov. Kristi Noem that would limit the teaching of critical race theory in the state.

The House Education Committee passed HB 1012 Wednesday morning in a 13 to 2 vote, according to Dakota News Now Statehouse Reporter Austin Goss. The bill will next moves to the floor of the House.

Critical race theory is an academic concept that explores American history with an emphasis on race and racism and how it has affected public policy that still impacts life today.

It has become a hot-button political issue in recent years. Conservatives, including Noem, argue it is a divisive discourse that pits people of different races against each other. Supporters argue it is important to understand how racism is embedded in U.S. institutions, like the criminal justice system and housing market, and that traditional lessons often whitewash our history. Critics of Noem’s bill also argue it is unclear if any of these lessons are even being taught in South Dakota schools.

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