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ND Lawmakers will consider vaccine mandate, critical race theory legislation

The House Delayed Bills Committee has approved the introduction of a bill that would prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in North Dakota schools.

The sponsor is Fargo Republican Representative Jim Kasper.

Critical race theory is defined as “the theory that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but that racism is systemically embedded in American society and the American legal system to facilitate racial inequality.”

The vote on the committee to allow its introduction in the current special session was 3 to 2 — the three Republicans voted in favor, the two Democrats voted no.

"I think this has some legitimacy, and we should have some discussion as a legislature," said Rep. Alisa Mitskog (D-Wahpeton). "I truly think this should go through an Education Policy Committee, and we should have input from all the stakeholders — in particular, the education community in North Dakota."

Kasper called his bill "a start."

"If it needs to be looked at further, it could happen in the 2023 session," Kasper told the Delayed Bills Committee. "But let's give our citizens in the state of North Dakota the assurance that we as a legislature say no critical race theory will be taught in our state."

A hearing on Kasper’s bill will be held before the Joint Technical Corrections Committee this afternoon.

State school superintendent Kirsten Baesler told KVRR-TV she’s not aware of any public schools that teach critical race theory in North Dakota.