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The ND Legislature has passed a bill prohibiting K-12 schools from teaching 'critical race theory'

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

That theory has been defined as “racism is systemically embedded in American society and in the American legal system.” It’s generally discussed in higher education circles.

Sen. Erin Oban (D-Bismarck) said the political outrage over critical race theory has been fanned by cable news, that’s trying to take advantage of the fear and uncertainty of the past two years. She said this isn't serious policy.

"It's a red herring," Oban said. "It's the definition of culture wars, which most of us claim to hate."

Oban said it makes a mockery of the state's Century Code, because doing that is easier than having "difficult conversations."

Sen. Nicole Poolman (R-Bimarck_ said she agrees that the outrage and fear created by cable news is manufactured.

"But the outrage and the fear that it's created , the mistrust of public schools it's created, is very real," Poolman said. "If we can do something to reassure parents that, in public schools, we are not having a political agenda, then I think we should do that."

The measure passed the Senate on a 38 to 9 vote. It already passed the House, and is now on its way to Gov. Doug Burgum.