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ACLU of North Dakota opposes bill banning critical race theory

ACLU of North Dakota

They claim House Bill 1508 is a violation of the First Amendment, and censors classroom discussions.

The ACLU of North Dakota is opposing a bill being introduced during the special session of the legislature, saying it would censor academic discussions about American history and race in North Dakota classrooms.

House Bill 1508 would prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in North Dakota. According to North Dakota United, critical race theory was constructed during the 1970s for higher education settings, specifically law school, and is not currently being taught in K-12 schools. It was developed to spark higher level discussions on why racial inequality has persisted despite legislative initiatives.

Janna Farley is a spokesperson for the ACLU of North Dakota. She says the term “critical race theory” is a current hot button issue.

"You know, it's something we've been seeing across the country - there's been this proliferation and effort to censor discussions about American history, and specifically race and how race played a role in American history. We've seen it across the country, but we're seeing it in North Dakota too - and it's an idea that gets people really fired up and excited, but they don't necessarily understand the realities of the reasons why they're getting fired up and excited."

Farley says the legislation violates the First Amendment, and oversteps the state government’s authority by imposing curriculum restrictions that should remain within local districts.