PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – Today, Governor Kristi Noem released the following statement in response to the South Dakota Board of Regents’ approval of a draft policy restricting the teaching of Critical Race Theory at state colleges and universities:
“I am grateful the Board of Regents is taking steps to address this divisive subject and limit its application in our university classrooms. Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, and the works of Ibram Kendi divide students, distort their understanding of history, and seek to indoctrinate them with anti-patriotic rhetoric. Additionally, I am glad to see that so-called diversity offices, which have unfortunately become less about serving students and more about advancing leftist agendas, are being replaced by Opportunity Centers that will focus on students as individuals, rather than members of groups. The policies put forth by the Board of Regents are a step forward in our quest to resist the harmful effects this ideology can have on students and preserve honest, patriotic education throughout South Dakota. I look forward to continuing the conversation with our legislators and education leaders in the coming months.”
In May, Governor Noem sent a letter to each member of the Board of Regents asking them to examine whether state funds were being used to support Critical Race Theory and its cohorts in post-secondary public institutions, as well as the operations of diversity offices. The draft policy released today by the Board took steps to align with the requests from that letter, which can be read here.
In July, the governor signed an executive order banning the state Department of Education from applying for federal grants tied to Critical Race Theory and action civics. In the order, Governor Noem signaled her intent to work with the legislature in the upcoming session to address further resistance to Critical Race Theory being taught in public schools.