Montana's top prosecutor BANS critical race theory from state's schools after warning that antiracism lessons are illegal and that they 'create a racially hostile environment'

 Montana's top prosecutor has banned critical race theory from the state's public schools, joining a handful of Republican-led states rejecting the antiracism academic movement. 

Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen issued a binding opinion on Thursday that labeled critical race theory and some antiracism programs taught in schools as 'discriminatory' and said they violate federal and state law, the Associated Press reported. 

Knudsen's decision came after Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen requested the AG to weigh in on the issue earlier this month. 
 

Montana joins the list of Republican-led states that have banned critical race theory in public schools. States which have banned it are pictured in red, those in the process are in purple

Montana joins the list of Republican-led states that have banned critical race theory in public schools. States which have banned it are pictured in red, those in the process are in purple

Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen (pictured)  issued an opinion on Thursday labeling critical race theory and some antiracism programs taught in schools as 'discriminatory'

Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen (pictured)  issued an opinion on Thursday labeling critical race theory and some antiracism programs taught in schools as 'discriminatory' 

Knudsen's decision came after Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen (pictured) requested the AG to weigh in on the issue earlier this month

Knudsen's decision came after Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen (pictured) requested the AG to weigh in on the issue earlier this month

'Committing racial discrimination in the name of ending racial discrimination is both illogical and illegal,' Knudsen said in a statement. 'Montana law does not tolerate schools, other government entities, or employers implementing CRT and antiracist programming in a way that treats individuals differently on the basis of race that creates a racially hostile environment.'

Montana joins several other states - including Tennessee, Idaho and Oklahoma - in banning critical race theory in public schools. Many others, including Texas, New Hampshire and Arizona are in the process of doing so, with their proposed legislation widely expected to be passed. 

Republicans say the academic movement is an attempt to pit racial groups against each other and teach that certain groups are responsible for injustices of the past.

They say children should not be made to feel 'racially inferior,' from a young age.

But supporter of critical race theory say it presents an essential and important overview of how race and racism pervades so many areas of American society, and continues to cause harm to people from minority backgrounds. 

The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.  

The New York Times Magazine published the 1619 project in August 2019.

The project was made up of a collection of essays, photo essays, short fiction pieces and poems aimed to 'reframe' American history based on the impact of slaves brought to the US.

It was published to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies and argued that the nation's birth was not 1776 with independence from the British crown, but in August 1619 with the arrival of a cargo ship of 20 to 30 enslaved Africans at Point Comfort in the colony of Virginia, which inaugurated the system of slavery. 

However, the project is debated among historians for its factual accuracy, including the timeline of when slaves arrived to the U.S. and where exactly they first arrived.  

Opponents  to critical race theory claim it indoctrinates children into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist and argues it reduces people to the categories of 'privileged' or 'oppressed' based on their skin color.

A handful of other states — including North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia — are currently debating, or are in the process of approving, bills banning the academic movement. 

While there is currently no legislation in the works in Florida and South Dakota, the governors of those states have publicly declared they oppose critical race theory.

In September 2020, former president Donald Trump ordered federal agencies to stop funding training on topics including 'critical race theory' and 'white privilege' with taxpayer dollars.

President Joe Biden revoked the order.

Knudsen's binding opinion states that certain activities that fall under the umbrella of critical race theory teaching violate the U.S. and state constitutions.


The activities include grading students differently based on race, forcing people to admit privilege or reflect on their racial identities, assigning fault, blame or bias to a race, and offering training or assignments that force students or employees to support concepts such as racial privilege, AP reported. 

Schools and government and public workplaces in Montana that offer critical race theory training or activities could lose state funding and could be liable for damages from lawsuits, AP reported. 

Knudsen's office also encouraged students and parents who believe they experience illegal discrimination under critical race theory programming to sue their schools directly or file complains with the U.S. Department of Education.  

Montana's top prosecutor BANS critical race theory from state's schools after warning that antiracism lessons are illegal and that they 'create a racially hostile environment' Montana's top prosecutor BANS critical race theory from state's schools after warning that antiracism lessons are illegal and that they 'create a racially hostile environment' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:15 Rating: 5

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