Gov. Kristi Noem signs anti-Critical Race Theory bill

The law does not specifically mention Critical Race Theory.

Updated: March 22, 2022 - 5:37pm

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South Dakota colleges will no longer be able to require students and faculty to attend Critical Race Theory (CRT)-based trainings or orientations after Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., signed an education bill into law on Monday.

"No student or teacher should have to endorse Critical Race Theory in order to attend, graduate from, or teach at our public universities," Noem said in a press release.

The law does not specifically mention CRT, but states it seeks to "protect students and employees at institutions of higher education from divisive concepts."

Among those concepts the bill addresses is the belief that people should face discrimination or adverse treatment based on their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.

Critical Race Theory is an intellectual movement that teaches that racism is inherent. Those who follow it seek to eliminate structures they see as unjust, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

"College should remain a place where freedom of thought and expression are encouraged, not stifled by political agendas," Noem said.

She signed 11 other bills into law as well, according to the press release. Those laws will provide funding for various education areas.

"This session, we also made targeted investments in job training for key career fields like nursing and skilled manufacturing. We want our kids and grandkids to get the best training possible so that they can fill available jobs right here in South Dakota," Noem added.