Wisconsin Republicans pass bill banning critical race theory in schools

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Republicans in the state Assembly have passed a bill that would ban critical race theory from being taught in Wisconsin schools. 

The measure, passed Tuesday, Sept. 28, appears to target education about systemic racism.

Former teacher and Republican state lawmaker Jeremy Thiesfeldt says certain racial curriculum should be banned from Wisconsin schools.

"We don't want schools to be misleading students and teaching things that perhaps a teacher wants them to hear, as opposed to what is facts," said Rep. Thiesfeldt (R-Fond Du Lac). 

The bill appears to target the concept of systemic racism, banning teaching that "an individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex, bears responsibility for acts committed in the past by other individuals of the same race or sex."

Democrats called the bill a red herring.

"We also have the white supremacy preservation act, which is part of a national movement to create sort of a new boogeyman in the culture wars," said State Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh).

The bill would also prevent teaching that "an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of the individual's race or sex."

Republicans say the bill is preventing discrimination.

"What is the harm in ensuring that we make every single person in the state realize that we don't want sexism, we don't want racism, we don't want stereotyping taught in our schools," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

Democrats worry the bill language is so broad it could be used to ban additional speech in schools.

"This lets us know this could include anything. We don't know what else could be added," said Rep. LaKeshia Myers (D-Milwaukee).

The plan calls for districts found in violation of the rules to lose up to 10% of their state funding.

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