Arizona governor Doug Ducey (R.) announced Friday that he signed a bill blocking state-run schools and government entities from requiring training in critical race theory.
Ducey, a Republican, said in a statement after signing House Bill 2906 that CRT suggests that people are “inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,” according to FOX 10 of Phoenix.
“Here in Arizona, we’re going to continue to be leaders on civics education and teach important lessons about our nation’s history,” Ducey said.
He also signed House Bill 2035, which calls for curriculum transparency so that parents can monitor what their children are being taught, particularly in controversial areas such as sex education. “Parents should have the right to know what their children are learning in school,” Ducey wrote.
Republican lawmakers celebrated Ducey’s signing of the bill. U.S. Representative Debbie Lasko of Arizona wrote that it is “great to see that @dougducey signed legislation into law to stop Critical Race Theory from infiltrating our schools and government entities!”
“CRT advances a distorted version of history to divide our nation and dismantle our institutions. It has no place in Arizona,” she added.
Meanwhile, Representative Andy Biggs (R., Arizona) called it a “HUGE win for all Arizonans.” “Thank you AZ Legislature for pushing this through!” he added.
The move comes after the president of the second-largest teachers’ union in America denied that critical race theory is taught in K–12 schools during remarks last week in which she vowed to fight “culture warriors” who attempt to censor a realistic telling of the country’s history.
Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), said during a conference that the union is preparing litigation and is “ready to go.”
“Let’s be clear: critical race theory is not taught in elementary schools or high schools. It’s a method of examination taught in law school and college that helps analyze whether systemic racism exists,” Weingarten said, according to a copy of the remarks posted on the union’s website.
The theory’s implementation in classrooms nationwide has drawn outcry from parents, some of whom have received emails from their children’s schools about “Decentering Whiteness at Home” or have elementary-school-aged children who have been read “a book about whiteness” that suggests “color matters” and encourages them to dissect “the painful truth” about their “own family,” regarding potential racist behavior.
Nearly 20 states have floated proposals to ban CRT. At least six states have already passed laws that limit how teachers can discuss race in the classroom, while nearly a dozen more are considering similar measures, according to the Daily Caller.
Meanwhile, the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers’ union, voted last week to conduct opposition research on groups that oppose the use of critical race theory in school curricula.