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HB 377’s Effects Reverberate in Idaho

The bill, which bans instruction of critical race theory in all Idaho public schools, has prompted an outpouring of racial discrimination in Idaho

By Gertie Angel and Fabiha Khanam


February 9, 2022

IDAHO– On April 28, 2021, Idaho lawmakers signed HB 377 into law. The bill prohibits the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in public schools. CRT claims that race is a social construct taught and upheld by American society and laws. According to Idaho reporter James Dawson, the bill intends to withhold state funding from schools Idaho policymakers claim are indoctrinating their students with CRT principles. The bill’s language is ambiguous and does not set out clear parameters for educators to follow.

Recent events spotlight racial tensions within the classroom setting, further illustrating the need for the teaching of CRT in educational environments. In January, a student from the Bonneville Joint School District in Eastern Idaho used racist language on a poster inviting his classmate to a school dance. The poster read, “If I was Black, I’d be picking cotton … but I’m white, so I’m picking you.” In recent years, similar incidences have occurred in other states such as Minnesota and Florida. This occurrence highlights the significance of educating the youth on the history of racism in the U.S. in an effort to sensitize white students to the trauma associated with racist, discriminatory language.

Teens for Press Freedom Media Relations Director Sami Campana-Gladstone commented on the issue: “TPF condemns the implementation of House Bill 377 and its censorship of discourse in public schools surrounding the legacy of racial discrimination in America. This ban of CRT threatens the educated electorate our democracy depends upon. Young people must be taught true American history."

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