A bill is being proposed for the upcoming session of the Wyoming legislature that would ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory and related concepts in Wyoming schools or in training courses for state or local governmental employees.

You can read House Bill 97 here.

It's sponsored by Rep. Chuck Gray [R-Natrona County]. Co-sponsors include  Reps. Bear, Haroldson, Heiner, Jennings, Laursen, Neiman and Winter and Senator(s) French and McKeown.

In regard to schools that receive state funding, the bill says

A teacher, administrator or other employee of a school district or state agency who is involved with students and teachers in grades preschool through the twelfth grade shall not use public monies for instruction that presents any form of blame or judgment on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, color or national origin.

Among the items that would be prohibited in school include teaching:

(vii)  That meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by a particular race to oppress another race; or

 (viii)  That the United States is fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist.

Under the bill, teachers, schools, school administrators, or  government officials could be liable for fines of up to $5,000 for each violation.

In regard to governmental training, the bill says no local or state government employee will be forced to undergo training, that, among other things, teaches:

i)  That any sex, race, ethnicity, color or national origin is inherently superior or inferior;

 (ii)  That a person should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin attributed to that person;

 (iii)  That a person, by virtue of the sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin attributed to that person, is inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same (or any other) sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin;

 (iv)  That a person, by virtue of the sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin attributed to that person is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;

Critical race theory teaches that American institutions and society are inherently racist and biased against people of color.

It's unclear whether the theory is being taught in Wyoming classrooms. Former Wyoming State Superintendent Jillian Balow, who recently left to take a job in Virginia, said in 2021 that she was concerned about CRT and related ideas making their way into Wyoming classrooms via textbooks from California and other places even if state teachers are not explicitly teaching it.

But critics of legislation such as House Bill 97 argue that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in Wyoming schools and is, in fact, an advanced academic theory more likely to be taught in college and law school courses than in K-12 public schools.

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