On Friday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.) signed legislation that will bar school and state agencies from teaching critical race theory (CRT).
The House Bill 2906 that Ducey gave his signature of approval to on Friday, July 9 bans “the state and any local governments from requiring their employees to engage in orientation, training or therapy that suggest an employee is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,” he said in a statement.
“When I took office, I vowed to use taxpayer dollars responsibly, and funding training on political commentary is not responsible spending,” Ducey said. “I am not going to waste public dollars on lessons that imply the superiority of any race and hinder free speech.
This bill was in addition to HB 2898; an anti-CRT legislation bill signed into law last week by the governor. This measure particularly imposes a fine of $5,000 if schools try introducing students to concepts that “one race, ethnic group or sex is in any way superior to another, or that anyone should be discriminated against on the basis of these characteristics.”
CRT is an academic concept built on Marxist ideologies, which teaches concepts of how race and racism are ingrained in society. While supporters of it said it could be the key to tackling racism, critics argue CRT can only produce the exact opposite results.
“We should be focused on bringing people together, not pushing people apart,” Arizona Representative Michelle Udall said. “Critical race theory will do nothing but increase divisiveness in our communities, which I think we can all agree we should try to prevent.”
The curriculum has faced heated opposition from parents and citizens groups nationwide, calling it indoctrination.
“Critical race theory is teaching that white people are bad. That’s not true. That would teach my daughter that her mother is evil,” said a Michigan father who is black, “instead, [educators are] using it as their own agenda to indoctrinate to hate each other.”
Ducey signed another education bill, which specifically allows parents to weigh in about what their children may learn at school.
The House Bill 2035, as Ducey described, is “a no-brainer piece of legislation that protects our children from learning materials that aren’t suited for them.”
“Every family has their own priorities for their children’s education, and parents should get to weigh in,” he added.
GOP Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona praised Ducey’s stern action.
“It’s 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 wrote in a tweet.
“The teaching of Critical Race Theory is now prohibited across all government levels and public schools in the state of Arizona!” House Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs joined the voice of support. “This is a HUGE win for all Arizonans. Thank you AZ Legislature for pushing this through!”