Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Monday signed into law Senate Bill 2113, which was authored by state Sen. Michael McLendon (R-Hernando) and would ban the teaching of what is labeled as Critical Race Theory in Mississippi public education institutions.
Reeves says the bill ensures that no Mississippi student will be forced to affirm that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior.”
Reeves’ signing of the bill and his comments were posted on the governor’s Facebook page and his Twitter account.
Senate Bill 2113 had McLendon as the principal author and several other senators, including state Sen. Kevin Blackwell (R-Southaven) as additional authors. It passed in the Senate on a 32-2 vote with 18 other senators not voting. When it went to the House, it survived about seven hours of debate and ended with a 75-43 vote. None of the African-American members of the House voted for the bill. Opponents feel it could censor some parts of Mississippi history.
Following is how the bill is written:
Title: AN ACT TO CREATE NEW SECTION 37-13-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT NO PUBLIC INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING, COMMUNITY/JUNIOR COLLEGE, SCHOOL DISTRICT OR CHARTER SCHOOL SHALL DIRECT OR COMPEL STUDENTS TO AFFIRM THAT ANY SEX, RACE, ETHNICITY, RELIGION OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IS INHERENTLY SUPERIOR, OR THAT INDIVIDUALS SHOULD BE ADVERSELY TREATED BASED ON SUCH CHARACTERISTICS; TO PROVIDE THAT NO DISTINCTION OR CLASSIFICATION OF STUDENTS SHALL BE MADE ON ACCOUNT OF RACE OTHER THAN THE REQUIRED COLLECTION OR REPORTING OF DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION; TO PROVIDE THAT NO COURSE OF INSTRUCTION SHALL BE TAUGHT THAT AFFIRMS SUCH PRINCIPLES; TO PROVIDE THAT NO FUNDS SHALL BE EXPENDED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, ANY ENTITY UNDER THE DEPARTMENT’S JURISDICTION, SCHOOL DISTRICTS, CHARTER SCHOOLS, COMMUNITY/JUNIOR COLLEGES, THE MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING OR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING FOR ANY PURPOSE THAT WOULD VIOLATE THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE FOR THE SEVERABILITY OF THE ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
Currently, the University of Mississippi School of Law teaches a course on Critical Race Theory, but officials with the state Department of Education and the state Community College Board say none of their institutions teach it.