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Updated measure bans required teaching of systemic racism

February 17, 2022 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Neither the state nor school districts could require or compel Ohio teachers to affirm a belief in the systemic nature of racism or “the multiplicity or fluidity of gender identities,” under the latest version of a bill in the Ohio House restricting how the topic of racism and other concepts are taught in K-12 schools.

The updated legislation would also prevent teachers or administrators from using or approving curricula or materials to promote those concepts, according to the bill, part of a conservative broadside against critical race theory.

The new version rolled out Wednesday also says that the elimination of slavery through the waging of the Civil War, fights to end racial discrimination, and public opinion opposing racism “dispels the idea that the United States and its institutions are systemically racist,” and that such topics should be at the center of education.

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Two anti-critical race theory bills introduced in May and pending before the House State and Local Government Committee are similar to legislation introduced nationwide by GOP lawmakers.

Critics including the Ohio Education Association teachers’ union call it an attempt to whitewash history.

Critical race theory is part of a scholarly movement developed in the 1970s that examines U.S. history and modern society through a focus on the legacy of slavery, racism and discrimination.