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Mississippi Governor Reeves signs...

Mississippi Governor Reeves signs anti-Critical Race Theory bill into law

By: Sarah Ulmer - March 14, 2022

Bill to prohibit the teaching of the tenets of critical race theory in Mississippi schools becomes law. 

Governor Tate Reeves has signed a bill that would prohibit the teaching of the tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Mississippi public schools. This includes K-12 schools as well as IHL Universities and Community Colleges.

The bill (SB 2113), authored by Senator Mike McLendon, is titled to “prohibit critical race theory,” however the legislation does not define what CRT is, nor does it directly reference CRT except for in the title.

The bill does prohibit the teaching that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior or that individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity religion or national origin.” 

RELATED: Mississippi Legislature takes on Critical Race Theory in public schools

In a video of his signing the bill, Governor Reeves says he knows what will happen next.

“First, critical race theory proponents will claim that this law prevents the teaching of history,” said Reeves. “They’ll claim that our kids won’t learn about important historical events like slavery or the civil rights movement. But we know the truth.”

Governor Reeves went on to say that the bill in no way, shape or form, prohibits the teaching of history. He assured citizens that all elements of Mississippi and American history would be taught in schools, including the good and bad.

While Reeves said he anticipates Mississippi to receive negative attention for the signing of the legislation, he believes it is in the best interest of the state’s students.

“To those looking to tear us down, you do what you gotta do, because at the end of the day Mississippi will do what’s right,” said Reeves.

The bill garnered nearly seven hours of debate when it came to the floor of the House of Representatives. Those in opposition emphasized concern over censorship of teachers and students.

RELATED: Bill to prohibit teachings of “inferior or superior” groups passes Mississippi Legislature

“What we are concerned is that they passed legislation today [ that censors our teachers and our students and their ability to teach history and ability to learn actual factual history,” said Rep. Robert Johnson.

Representative Percy Watson (D), who has served in the Legislature for nearly 40 years, said this could lead to more restrictive legislation.

“No one knows exactly what it’s going to do but it seems to be an indication that Mississippi is moving backwards. No one can really explain CRT or say what impact it will really have for public education or higher education, so it was necessary for the black members to raise this bill as being very, very dangerous to public education,” Watson said.

The Mississippi Center for Public Policy has noted their role in crafting the legislation that led to this bill. Douglas Carswell, the President and CEO of MCPP, said he was delighted that the Governor has signed this bill into law.

“Critical Race theory is an extremist ideology. Critical race theory maintains that the United States is founded on racial supremacy and oppression. Rather than treating each of us as an individual, it invites us to re-racialize every aspect of our lives,” Carswell said in a statement to Y’all Politics. “The Mississippi Center for Public Policy’s report on Critical Race theory, published in October, presented clear evidence that Critical Race theory is being promoted in Mississippi schools and universities. We also published model legislation as part of that report – model legislation which today becomes law.”

Carswell said those that oppose this bill need to explain what part of it they find objectionable.

“Do opponents of the bill really want to allow teachers to compel students to believe in the inherent superiority of fellow Americans?” Carswell asked, adding, “Mississippi has taken a lead in confronting this ideology.  I am certain other US states will now follow our lead”

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: