Taxpayer-funded education providers will be prohibited from critically examining the law and challenging mainstream liberal approaches to racial justice across Idaho.
An overwhelming majority of Gem State senators support banning public schools and universities from teaching critical race theory.
Twenty-eight Idaho senators voted in favor of enacting the new Dignity and Non-Discrimination in Education Bill (HB 377) to prevent teachers from allegedly forcing students to “personally affirm, adopt, or adhere” to certain critical race theory teachings. Only seven senators voted against HB 377 on April 26.
“This bill is Idaho’s statement that we will not tolerate discrimination in schools, and we are reserving education policy and curricular decisions to the state and local institutions and schools,” State Rep. Wendy Horman (R) said in a video shared on Facebook. “Any powers not delegated to the United States are reserved to the states and people period.”
The bill effectively stops schools and universities from spreading theories about specific demographics being inferior to others. It also prevents educators from arguing certain races are “inherently responsible for 41 actions committed in the past” by members belonging to the same demographic.
“Its purpose is to respect the dignity of others, acknowledge the right of others to express differing opinions, foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, local public schools,” Horman said.
The assemblywoman revealed teachers are free to choose topics that do not promote what she calls anti-racism.
“An anti-racist idea is any that suggests racial groups are not equals,” she said. “That flies in the face of our Declaration of Independence—it said ‘All men (meaning people) are created equal.'”
Horman also suggested Black Lives Matter activists should distance themselves from critical race theory because it contradicts the views of historical civil rights leaders.
“[The theory] flies in the face of Martin Luther King’s [speech] ‘I have a dream’ [and] that his four little children will be judged not on the color of their skin but on the content of their character,” she said.
Horman categorically dismissed critics of the bill who accused the Idaho state Legislature of not providing enough funding for education.
“The budgets that are waiting to move total $3.1 billion, 32 percent more than we approved last year—that is $2.2 billion around our standard appropriation plus another $870 million in federal funds,” she said.
She revealed state funding would be provided without imposing any conditions on how the money should be spent.
“The funds we have attached no strings to,” she said. “We are not attaching any as a state, we are sending those on to say to our teachers and administrators spend them how you need to spend them to accommodate COVID (Chinese Communist Party Virus or coronavirus) situations, and make our schools safe. Make them a place of dignity and non-discrimination.”
The assemblywoman previously criticized President Joe Biden for using executive orders to force critical race theory on Idaho classrooms.
“He is planning more,” she said in an opinion article published by Idaho Ed News. “A National Review article is headlined ‘Biden set to push critical race theory on U.S. schools.’ The first sentence reads, ‘The woke revolution in the classroom is about to go federal.'”
She is also concerned the Democratic Party is not interested in upholding the U.S. Constitution or maintaining the judicial system’s integrity.
“These collective concerns left me no choice but to fight to preserve local control for Idaho’s public schools, teachers and parents in a way I never anticipated,” she said. “Rejecting the budget until appropriate statewide policy was in place to fight against this extraordinary and rapidly evolving federal takeover of our local schools was necessary.”