HB1012(Divisive Concepts Bill) clears the Senate

PIERRE, S.D.(SDBA)- Anti-Critical Race Theory legislation is now going to the Governor’s desk. The 97th Legislature of the State of South Dakota is passing House Bill 1012, which is supposed to protect students and employees at institutions of higher education from divisive concepts.

House Bill 1012 outlines “divisive concepts” institutions aren’t allowed to promote through orientations, trainings or professional development opportunities. 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.

Two amendments were proposed on the Senate floor, both of which were defeated. One tried to add in language from HB 1337, which failed in committee and was a companion bill for K through 12 schools. The other attempted to hog-house the bill and say that racism could not be promoted or taught in higher learning institutions.

Proponents of HB1012 say it strengthens free speech on college campuses. Opponents say it restricts the free speech of professors discussing their classes with new students.