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House passes bill prohibiting K-12 schools from teaching "critical race theory"

The North Dakota House has passed a measure prohibiting the teaching of “critical race theory” in K-12 schools.

Critical race theory is defined as the theory that racism is systemically imbedded in American society and the American legal system, and racism is not merely a product of individual prejudice.

The Department of Public Instruction says critical race theory is not being taught in North Dakota K-12 schools.

"This bill starts the engine of stopping critical race theory in its tracks in the state of North Dakota," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jim Kasper (R-Fargo). "Our parents deserve it, and more importantly, our kids deserve it."

But Representative Karla Rose Hanson (D-Fargo) said she was concerned that this measure would violate free speech. She also said she’s concerned that if the bill passes, it may lead to confusion among parents, and may lead to misinterpretation.

"So if we pass this bill, it will become a catch-all for anything that parents don't like, that they're seeing in schools," Hanson said.

The vote was 76 to 16.