PIERRE, SD (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday signed a bill she promoted as a rejection of so-called critical race theory, even though the legislation has far-reaching limited.
The law prohibits public universities in the state from using training and guidance materials that make people feel “uncomfortable” because of their race. The bill passed the Senate earlier this month.
“No student or teacher should have to endorse critical race theory to attend, graduate or teach at our public universities,” Noem’s statement said. “The university must remain a place where freedom of thought and expression is encouraged, not stifled by political agendas.”
Noem has repeatedly criticized critical race theory, an academic framework centered on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions. The initiative signed on Monday does not prohibit higher education teachers from teaching such notions in academic education.
The actual text of the bill makes no mention of critical race theory. It sets out seven “divisive concepts” and prohibits universities from enrolling students or faculty members or promoting them to required training.
It was one of twelve education bills Noem signed into law on Monday. She has signed 192 bills in total and vetoed one this session.
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