Government Veto North Carolina Bill Limiting Kindergarten to Grade 12 Racial Education
RALEIGH, NC (AP) – Democratic Governor of North Carolina Roy Cooper on Friday vetoed two bills that would have limited how public school teachers can discuss certain racial concepts and increased penalties against those who engage in violent demonstrations.
The vetoed education bill was part of a nationwide effort by Republicans in more than two dozen states to challenge views they associated with “critical race theory,” a legal framework developed in the 1970s and 1980s which focuses on the belief that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and maintains the dominance of whites in society.
GOP lawmakers across the country have used “critical race theory” and “indoctrination” as catch-all phrases to describe racial concepts they find objectionable, including white privilege, systemic inequality. and the inherent biases. Republican governors in eight states have signed bills or budgets banning the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 schools or limiting how teachers can discuss racism and sexism.
The North Carolina bill would have prevented educators from forcing students to personally adopt any of the 13 beliefs, and it has been the center of heated debate in the legislature.
Cooper said on Friday that the measure would have inserted politics into education.
âThe legislature should focus on supporting teachers, helping students recover lost learning and investing in our public schools. Instead, this bill pushes a calculated and conspiratorial policy in public education, âhe said in a press release announcing the veto.
Leading North Carolina Republican lawmakers have said Bill 324 seeks to expose questionable classroom activities and address parental frustrations with how teachers and school districts operate. But Republicans, who did not appear to have enough votes to override the Democratic governor’s veto, did not identify any cases of alleged “indoctrination” that the North Carolina measure would have prevented.
State Senate head Phil Berger, a Republican, released a statement on Friday denouncing Cooper’s decision.
“It is puzzling that Governor Cooper is vetoing a bill affirming the role of the public school system to teach students the whole truth about our state’s sometimes horrific past,” he said.
The other veto measure would have allowed business owners to sue people who damaged their property for three times the actual damage they suffered, blaming those who assault rescue workers with a more serious crime, even if no one was physically injured, and imprison those accused of rioting. or loot for up to 48 hours without bail.
While Republicans believed the measure would hold rioters and looters accountable and better ensure public and law enforcement safety, Democrats and civil rights groups believed the sanctions outlined in the draft. The law was excessive and could deter people from taking to the streets to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
Cooper said on Friday that those who commit riot crimes should be prosecuted under existing laws and the legislation is not necessary.
The governor signed nine other bills, including measures to improve the rights of foster parents and protect the rights of imprisoned pregnant women.
Follow Anderson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BryanRAnderson.
Anderson is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative corps. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.