Congressman introduces legislation to outlaw teaching CRT as a civil rights violation

Kendall Tietz, DCNF

Republican Rep. Bob Good of Virginia introduced legislation Wednesday that would prohibit schools, programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from teaching Critical Race Theory.

The Defending Students’ Civil Rights Act of 2021 would make it “punishable by law” to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a violation of students’ civil rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the press release. Rep. Good introduced the legislation along with Russ Vought, the president of Centers for Renewing America and former White House office of management and budget director, during a joint press conference Wednesday. The bill is an effort to hold “educators accountable for what they teach in our schools,” Vought said.

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

“The hyper-politicization of our public education system has created a trojan horse for Marxists to hide within, while making a direct attack against our federalist system and foundational values,” Rep. Good said. “Our posterity must be taught a historically accurate curriculum that acknowledges our faults as well as our achievements as a nation.”

Over 5,000 teachers across the U.S. have signed a petition vowing to teach CRT curricula whether or not it is prohibited, according to the press release.

With a Democratic majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the legislation is unlikely to pass. Similar legislation has been introduced in the past by members of Congress with little success.

Last month, a group of Republican lawmakers introduced legislation that would prohibit federal funding for CRT. In May, Utah Republican Rep. Burgess Owens introduced legislation that aimed to restrict teaching critical race theory at federal institutions to combat President Joe Biden’s executive order that reversed former President Donald Trump’s order banning CRT.

Similar legislation introduced in May by a group of House Republicans aimed to fully defund CRT as a companion bill to Republican Senator Tom Cotton’s anti-CRT legislation that did not advance due to a lack of support.

“CRT curriculum wrongly teaches our children that America is irreparably and systemically racist,” Rep Good said. “Ultimately, state lawmakers should expand school choice to combat CRT and truly empower parents in their children’s education. In the meantime, my bill will act as a check on educators and give a voice to understandably concerned parents.”

President Joe Biden’s Education Department has promoted the New York Time’s 1619 Project through its American History and Civics Education program, “which directly advocates for discrimination based on a person’s race,” the press release said.

The federal government and the states must “fight against state sanctioned racism” to hold schools teaching CRT accountable, Vought said. “Teaching our children that they are less-than because of their skin color is indoctrination and a classic civil rights violation,” he added.

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