PIERRE, S.D.(SDBA)- HB1012 outlines “divisive concepts” teachers aren’t allowed to promote through coursework and training in higher education. These include labeling certain groups or people as inherently racist or sexist, and making students feel uncomfortable based on their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity or national origin.
The bill originally referenced an academic concept called “Critical Race Theory,” but that phrase was amended out of the title.
Republican Representative Sue Peterson is the bill’s prime sponsor. She says the bill protects students from being compelled to feel certain things about certain topics.
Peterson says everyone should feel strong emotions when confronted by historical events, but they shouldn’t be forced to by a teacher.
Democratic Representative Linda Duba opposes the bill. She says the bill tries to address a problem that already has a working solution.
Duba says the bill also puts teachers in a difficult situation about what they can and cannot talk about in a classroom setting.
HB1012 cleared the House on a 54-14 vote.
HB1037 also cleared the South Dakota House on a 50-18 vote.