Governor Doug Ducey has signed a bill into law prohibiting government agencies from requiring training in what’s known as critical race theory. It comes as several state legislatures make similar moves to restrict how U.S. history can be taught and discussed. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.
The bill signed Friday is the second new Arizona law related to critical race theory, a framework that examines what some scholars believe is inherent racism is U.S. laws and institutions. Ducey last week signed another bill that bans teaching that a race, ethnic group or sex is superior. Schools can be fined up to $5,000 for violations.
It’s part of a national push by many Republicans to silence discussions about systemic racism they characterize as divisive.
Many scholars, historians and free speech advocates, however, say such laws are attempts to prevent open dialogue about racism, gender and U.S. history in classrooms.
The American Historical Association, American Association of University Professors and more than a hundred other groups say the measures introduced in at least 20 GOP-led states are an attempt to whitewash history and would have a chilling effect on education.