FRANKFORT – (KT) Two Kentucky House members have proposed a second piece of legislation for the 2022 legislative session that would ban teaching critical race theory in the state’s public schools.

A version unveiled early last week by Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Ft. Thomas, would cover K-12, but the latest one, sponsored by Republicans Matt Lockett of Nicholasville and Representative Jennifer Henson Decker of Waddy, would also include colleges and universities.

“Those who subscribe to critical race theory are more interested in labeling people, dividing them into categories, and pitting them against each other than they are actually addressing important issues like racism,” said Lockett. “At the heart of this is a simple question: should taxpayer resources be used to promote a political narrative that teaches one person is inherently superior to another?”

He added, “The people of Kentucky stand united against this attempt to use our education system to indoctrinate our children.” He says the bill would specifically ban teaching that:

• One race, sex or religion is inherently superior to another race, sex or religion.

• An individual, by virtue of his or her race, sex or religion, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.

• An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race, sex or religion.

• Members of one race, sex or religion cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race, sex or religion.

• An individual’s moral character is determined by his or her race or sex.

• An individual, by virtue of his or her race, sex or religion, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, sex or religion.

• Any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, sex or religion.

• Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist, sexist or oppressive, or were created by members of a particular race or religion to oppress members of another race or religion.

“Teaching the components of critical race theory effectively censors real, productive conversations on race, gender and equality,” Decker stated. “Frankly, teaching that one race or sex is superior to another is insulting and dangerous. While we should address disparities in education, income and health, Critical Race Theory only serves to distract people from recognizing that government programs created to address these disparities have failed miserably.”

Gov. Andy Beshear said he opposes such legislation. “Once you start what can and can’t be taught in schools, especially in the framework of politics, it gets really dangerous. Our schools should be providing the best education for our children, they should have open and real dialogue. This idea that we would take something like this, and because of politics or other things going on around the country, legislate exactly what will be taught in schools is more than a little concerning to me.”    

Similar legislation has reportedly been filed in more than a dozen states. Several others, including Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Idaho and Oklahoma, have already passed a version of the ban.

(By Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)