Academe Blog by Peter Laurence, September 1, 2021
In May 2021, fifteen South Carolina state representatives introduced a bill into the SC General Assembly to condemn and prevent the teaching of critical race theory. Now with twenty sponsors, H. 4325 resides in the House Committee on Education and Public Works, awaiting further discussion. Expansive in its attack on educators and ideas but relatively short in words, it reads as follows in its entirety:
"A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 59-29-12 SO AS TO PROVIDE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS, PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING MAY NOT DIRECT OR OTHERWISE COMPEL STUDENTS TO PERSONALLY AFFIRM, ADOPT, OR ADHERE TO THE TENETS OF “CRITICAL RACE THEORY” OR PROVIDE RELATED INSTRUCTION, AND TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMINOLOGY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 29, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding: “Section 59-29-12. (A) Public school districts, public schools, and public institutions of higher learning may not: (1) direct or otherwise compel students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to the tenets of critical race theory; or (2) introduce a course of instruction or unit of study directing or otherwise compelling students to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to any of the tenets of critical race. (B) For purposes of this chapter, ‘critical race theory’ means any of the following tenets: (1) any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior; (2) individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin; or (3) individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin.”
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor."