N.C. Senate Passes Anti-Indoctrination Bill After Emotional Debate

By Carolina Journal

A bill that would prohibit public schools from promoting controversial viewpoints related to Critical Race Theory cleared the N.C. Senate on Thursday. Debate about the bill featured rare personal attacks among senators.

The vote split along party lines, with 25 Republicans voting in favor and 17 Democrats against.

House Bill 324Ensuring Dignity and Nondiscrimination in Schools, would ban the teaching of 13 discriminatory concepts in the classroom, including:

  • That one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
  • An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.
  • An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.
  • A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist.
  • Particular character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs should be ascribed to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.

Each of these ideas has been linked to Critical Race Theory.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, spearheaded the bill. Berger has vowed to fight the teaching of CRT in public schools “with everything that I have.”

Senate Leader Phil Berger at a press conference releasing the F.A.C.T.S. Task Force report. Photo by Maya Reagan, Carolina Journal. 

“Students must not be forced to adopt an ideology that is separate and distinct from history; an ideology that promotes ‘present discrimination’ — so long as it’s against the right again — as ‘antiracist,’” said Berger in a statement.

At one point, Berger asked his Democrat colleagues to name one item on the list of 13 discriminatory concepts that they would favor changing. No Senate Democrats responded.

Instead, Democrats claimed the bill would muzzle teachers’ ability to instruct students in the full scope of American history.

“We can understand that the United States is a great and unique country whose values are worth defending and teaching, while we realize simultaneously that the same country has made horrible mistakes,” said Sen. Mark Woodard, D-Durham. “This bill will limit our ability to hold and to teach these disparate values at the same time.”

The debate became personal at one point when Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford, accused fellow Sen. Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus, of not being an educator. Newton responded on Twitter that he and his wife “successfully homeschooled our children. Is it the [N.C. Senate Democrat’s] position that homeschooling parents are not educators?”

Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford, on the Senate floor. Photo by Carolina Journal

The N.C. Senate Democrats’ Twitter account later responded, “Surely you cooked your family dinner over the years. We still wouldn’t call you a chef.”

“What an absolute insult, not only to my family, but to the large (and growing) home education community in North Carolina,” Newton responded. “Democrats want to control every single aspect of your life, and here is more evidence of that truth.”

North Carolina has one of the largest homeschooling communities of any state in the nation with parents of more than 179,000 N.C. children choosing to educate them at home. That number jumped nearly 20% during the 2020 COVID-19 school shutdowns.

H.B. 324 made its way through the Senate Education and Rules committees earlier this week. In committee debate, Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake, clashed with Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. Chaudhuri claimed that H.B. 324 would authorize a “witch hunt” of public school teachers and accused Robinson of promoting “Fox News,” “fear-mongering.”

Robinson labeled Chaudhuri’s characterization an insult, pointing out that the legislative action stemmed from hundreds of complaints from parents and teachers. In the same committee meeting, Chaudhuri was not heard offering a “no” vote during the bill’s voice vote. Nor was he present for the Senate floor debate and vote, despite having been in a legislative meeting Thursday morning. Chaudhuri was one of eight senators with excused absences from the floor vote.

The measure now returns to the House for a concurrence vote. If the House rejects the Senate’s version of the bill, the two chambers would set up a conference committee. That group could iron out a final version of the bill.

6 COMMENTS

  1. No, the dems could not answer the question about removing any of the concepts. They know not what they do. Then, they said we need to teach true history? We already do teach true history. We all know and were taught slavery was wrong. What else do they want? They want us all to go around today like we are ashamed of ourselves when we had nothing to do with that past issue. We need to move forward and be thankful we have learned from history to do better.

  2. Come up out of Denial , stop blaming others. Stop living in the past . open your eyes and look around you. There are millionaires of every race in this country. We are all trapped in a system that thrives on keeping us all slaves to a 1 world monetary political system. As long as you dwell on the past you can not go forward. You can not think ahead nor get ahead when your every thought is on the past. Give your children the advantage of not dragging around this anchor called the blame game instead teach them we are all free as we ever will be and the sky is not the limit any longer. Teach them they can go as far and high as any one else if they work hard stay in school and be responsible because we are our brothers keeper. JESUS said DWELL NOT ON THE PAST FOR I AM NOT THERE I AM THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE. NOW take that and run with it, Be all you can be because you are as free as you ever will be in this world.

  3. Don’t pretend that all of us don’t know where this is heading? The fabric of society coming apart and so many cultures forced to share space. Human despair and the heart ache of an era that thought we never see again will again happen in history. This time it will be on our shores and our kids and our love ones that will struggle through it.

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