sunny.png
Monday September 27th, 2021 11:26AM

Montana's top prosecutor bans critical race theory programs

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s top prosecutor issued an opinion Thursday labeling critical race theory and some antiracism programs taught in schools as “discriminatory” and said they violate federal and state law.

Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s decision bans the activities — which are also used for employee training — in the state. It came after Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen requested earlier this month for Knudsen to weigh in on the issue.

Montana with the decision became the latest of several Republican - controlled states to decry critical race theory as an attempt to pit racial groups against each other and teach that certain groups are responsible for injustices of the past. Supporters of the theory say it is a way to look at how race and racism have shaped the nation.

Knudsen's decision was slammed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana and the Montana Federation of Public Employees, which represents many government workers in the state, including school teachers and faculty at public universities.

The union's president, Amanda Curtis, accused Knudsen and Arntzen of “working together to politicize school curriculum."

ACLU of Montana executive director Caitlin Borgmann accused them of trying to “impose an alternate version of American history — one that erases the legacy of discrimination and lived experiences of Black and Brown people.”

“Our country needs to acknowledge its history of systemic racism and reckon with the present-day impacts of racial discrimination — this includes being able to teach and talk about these concepts in our schools,” Borgmann said in a statement.

Knudsen's binding opinion states that certain activities that fall under the umbrella of critical race theory teaching violate the U.S. and state constitutions.

They include grading students differently based on race; forcing people to admit privilege or reflect on their racial identities; assigning fault, blame or bias to a race; and offering training or assignments that force students or employees to support concepts such as racial privilege.

Schools and government and public workplaces could lose state funding and could be liable for damages from lawsuits if they offer critical race theory training or activities, Knudsen's office said in a statement.

“Committing racial discrimination in the name of ending racial discrimination is both illogical and illegal,” Knudsen said in a statement. “Montana law does not tolerate schools, other government entities, or employers implementing CRT and antiracist programming in a way that treats individuals differently on the basis of race or that creates a racially hostile environment.”

The attorney general’s office encouraged students and parents who believe they experience illegal discrimination under critical race theory programming to sue their schools directly or file complains with the U.S. Department of Education.

Arntzen welcomed the decision, saying it will stop “outside philosophies” from affecting public education in the state.

“I am completely supportive of students learning multiple viewpoints of our history to encourage critical thinking,” she said in a statement. But she said critical race theory “distorts our shared history and too often is used to demean and belittle students based on the color of their skin through segregation, stereotyping, and scapegoating."

___

Samuels is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
'Nothing looks good' preparing for summer wildfire season
Crews across the U.S. West are lighting controlled burns and taking other steps to prepare for the 2021 fire season that follows the worst one on record
4:43PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Montana's top prosecutor bans critical race theory programs
Montana’s top prosecutor has issued an opinion calling critical race theory and some antiracism teaching programs and activities discriminatory
4:42PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Official: Shooter said he hated work years before killing 9
A Biden administration official says a man accused of killing nine people at a California rail yard spoke of hating his workplace while he was detained by U.S. customs officers after a 2016 trip to the Philippines
4:41PM ( 7 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Biden to GOP: 'Don't get in the way' of infrastructure plan
President Joe Biden is warning naysayers in Congress not to “get in the way” of his big infrastructure plans
4:43PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Online scrubs seller Figs soars 36% in stock market debut
Shares of online scrubs seller Figs are soaring in their stock market debut, valuing the 8-year old company at $4.8 billion
4:36PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Stocks rise as the economy shows more signs of improvement
Stocks closed mostly higher on Wall Street following more signals that the economy is continuing to recover
4:10PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
UN rights chief: Israeli strikes in Gaza may be war crimes
The top U.N. human rights body has passed a resolution aimed to intensify scrutiny of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians
2:37PM ( 2 hours ago )
EU weighs Belarus sanctions at sectors close to leader
European Union nations are sketching out plans for new sanctions against Belarus that will target economic sectors close to its authoritarian leader as they seek to strike back at him for diverting a passenger jet to arrest a dissident journalist
2:29PM ( 2 hours ago )
GOP set to block 1/6 panel, stoking Senate filibuster fight
Senate Republicans are ready to deploy the filibuster to block legislation establishing a commission on the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection
2:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Summer travel begins with excitement, delays
After a year of coronavirus lockdowns, the start of summer beckons with vacation plans made possible by relaxed COVID-19 restrictions
3:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Defense chief: US pullout from Afghanistan 'slightly' ahead
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has told Congress that America’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is “slightly” ahead of schedule, but he's providing no details
3:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. stocks rise as economy shows signs of improvement
Stocks edged higher on Wall Street Thursday as investors received more signals that the economy is continuing to heal from the pandemic
2:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
'Nothing looks good' preparing for summer wildfire season
Crews across the U.S. West are lighting controlled burns and taking other steps to prepare for the 2021 fire season that follows the worst one on record
4:43PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Official: Shooter said he hated work years before killing 9
A Biden administration official says a man accused of killing nine people at a California rail yard spoke of hating his workplace while he was detained by U.S. customs officers after a 2016 trip to the Philippines
4:41PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Murder charges filed against officers in Black man's death
The Washington state attorney general charged two Tacoma police officers with murder and another with manslaughter in the death of Manuel Ellis, a Black man who died after telling them him he couldn’t breathe as he was being restrained
4:39PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Navigation error sends NASA's Mars helicopter on wild ride
NASA's little Mars helicopter is safely on the ground following a wild, lurching ride caused by a navigation timing error
4:34PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Sheriff: Gunman appeared to target some victims at rail yard
A California sheriff says a gunman who killed nine people at a California rail yard appeared to target some of the victims as he fired 39 shots
4:09PM ( 39 minutes ago )