South Dakota governor pens bill to block race theory in schools, colleges

A woman stands at a podium to speak.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11 in Dallas.
Brandon Bell | Getty Images file

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has drafted a bill that would block teaching critical race theory in South Dakota schools, public universities and technical colleges. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports Noem announced the legislation on Monday.

Critical race theory is an academic concept that originated in the 1970s. It focuses on how racism is embedded in legal systems in the United States. South Dakota education officials say critical race theory isn't part of state curriculum in schools or colleges. But Noem said the theory teaches a false and divisive message.

The ACLU of South Dakota said Monday it opposes the bill, saying it could censor U.S. history discussions and local school districts should decide their own curriculums.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.