By Ryan Morgan
Arizona’s Democratic governor, Kathy Hobbs, vetoed a bill this week that would have prohibited schools from teaching the concept of judging an individual based on race or ethnicity, or that certain races or ethnicities are inherently racist or oppressive.
Last month, lawmakers in the Arizona Legislature passed state Senate Bill SB1305, which outlined a list of racially charged topics prohibited in the state’s K-12 public schools. Hobbs vetoed the bill on Thursday.
The language of the bill prohibited “judging an individual based on the individual’s race or ethnicity.” The bill further prohibited teaching.
- “That one race or ethnic group is essentially morally or intellectually superior to another race or ethnic group.”
- “That an individual, based on the individual’s race or ethnicity, is inherently racist or oppressive, knowingly or unknowingly.”
- “That an individual should be subjected to unfair discrimination or adverse treatment solely or in part because of the individual’s racial or ethnic origin.”
- “That an individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race or ethnicity.”
- “That an individual, because of the individual’s race or ethnicity, bears responsibility or blame for the actions of other members of the same race or ethnic group.”
- “Those academic achievements, merits, or qualities such as a hard work ethic are racist or created by members of a particular race or ethnic group to oppress members of another race or ethnic group.”
The bill was passed by Republicans in the Arizona state House and state Senate on party-line votes. No Democrats voted for the bill.
“It’s time to stop using students and teachers in culture wars based on fear and baseless accusations,” Hobbs said in vetoing the bill on Thursday. “Bills like SB1305 only serve to divide and antagonize.
“I urge the Legislature to work with me on the real issues affecting Arizona schools: underfunded classrooms, a growing teacher retention crisis and school buildings in need of repair and replacement,” Hobbs added.
Republican state Sen. JD Mesnard, who sponsored SB 1305, released a statement (pdf) describing Hobbs’ move as a “slap in the face.”
“I am deeply disappointed by Governor Hobbs’ choice to condone these discriminatory teachings that our children are exposed to by vetoing my bill,” he said.
In a press release (pdf), Republican state Rep. Beverly Pingerelli said Hobbs’ veto “sends a troubling message that he is willing to allow a racially divisive curriculum to be intentionally taught in Arizona classrooms.”
A national debate over teaching race in the classroom
Other state legislatures have passed bills similar to SB1305 in recent years, prohibiting K-12 public schools from teaching racial ideology. Florida’s Stop Wronging Our Children and Employees (WOKE) Act (pdf), for example, includes language that prohibits teaching the moral inferiority or superiority of any race, or that a person’s racial or ethnic background makes them inherently racist or oppressive. , or that they should be discriminated against on that basis.
However, supporters of DeSantis’ protest against the Stop WOKE Act (pdf) said they believe the law would “stifle widespread demands to discuss, examine and address systemic inequities.” In the same document, they also defended Critical Race Theory as “a recognized academic theory and legal scholarship that originated with legal scholars in the 1970s to identify and challenge the persistence of racial inequalities in social institutions and the law.”
Proponents of such bills have argued that they do not prohibit teaching about past issues of racism and oppression in America. They believe that race education in classrooms, however, too often focuses on specific ideological notions of racism, such as racial “privilege,” or that certain demographics are inherently racist, or otherwise held responsible for the wrongdoings of bearers. for. from their ethnicity. Mesnar said his bill “makes clear that teaching about real historical events, including instances of racial hatred or discrimination such as slavery and Jim Crow, are perfectly acceptable teaching topics.”
NTD News reached out to Hobb’s office for comment, but did not hear back by the time this article was published.
From NTD News