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South Dakota Ban on 'Divisive Concepts' in Education Heads to Governor

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started out as a ban on the teaching of critical race theory, an academic concept that shapes some college courses and has been used as a bogeyman by far-right activists, who claim it instills guilt in white people and generally symbolizes everything they think is wrong with education.It has been amended to be a ban on “divisive concepts” in higher education.

Its definition of this includes “that an individual, by virtue of their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously” and “that individuals, by virtue of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.” It applies to schools governed by the state’s Board of Regents and Board of Technical Education.The latest version of the bill includes a note that because it has been extensively amended, it may not reflect the author’s original intentions.

Noem has apparently not commented publicly on the amendments. Notably, Noem, a rising star in the Republican Party, was the first governor to sign an anti-transgender sports bill into law this year.

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