TSR Education: A newly proposed guidance released by the Tennessee Department of Education could result in public school teachers paying hefty fines if any part of their curriculum teaches about race and more specifically–critical race theory.
Per the rules issued by the DOE: “If the Department determines that the LEA [“local education agency”] or public charter school knowingly violated Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-1019, the Department shall withhold the payment of state funds scheduled to be distributed to the LEA or public charter school until the requirements of the corrective action plan have been met.”
The Grio reports teachers who knowingly violate the new law could have their licenses suspended or revoked, while school districts could be hit with fines starting at $1 million and rising to $5 million each time a teacher “knowingly initiates classroom discussions about systemic racism, white privilege, and sexism.”
For some background, Republican lawmakers in Tennessee passed legislation to ban the teaching of critical race theory, describing it as a “dangerous theory” that endangered every child in the state in an editorial published by the Tennessean.
They closed their editorial by stating “In Tennessee, we believe in the truth. We believe in equality of opportunity. We are proud of our history.”
Tennessee is just one of many states and school districts across the nation grappling over the teaching of race and race relations in America as it pertains to the nation’s history.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz called it “poison that is being poured into the minds of our kids” during an interview with Fox News.
Per Tennessee’s DOE, below are the subjects and concepts Tennessee lawmakers take issue with:
- One (1) race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
- An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously;
- An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the individual’s race or sex;
- An individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race or sex;
- An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
- An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual’s race or sex;
- A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist, or designed by a particular race or sex to oppress members of another race or sex;
- This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist;
- Promoting or advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government;
- Promoting division between, or resentment of, a race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, social class, or class of people;
- Ascribing character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex;
- The rule of law does not exist, but instead is series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups;
- All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; or
- Governments should deny to any person within the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.
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