The Idaho state Senate voted yesterday on a bill that would prohibit the teaching of "critical race theory" in the state's schools and universities, or at least to prohibit what Idaho Republicans think is "critical race theory." Republicans in the state legislature have been blocking all sorts of education funding bills to protest the supposed proliferation of critical race theory in Idaho schools, although they have so far not had a lot of success in finding any examples of such "indoctrination" to point to. But since the Idaho constitution won't allow the legislative session to close without funding public schools, the Lege rushed to ban the supposed leftist plague. The result is a two-page bill, HB 377, which asserts that "critical race theory" serves to

exacerbate and inflame divisions on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or other criteria in ways contrary to the unity of the nation and the well-being of the state of Idaho and its citizens.

So clearly, we need to banish it forever, whatever it turns out to be. The bill, which is likely to be signed by Gov. Brad Little, is just the latest in a flood of white backlash education bills aimed at making sure schools only teach happy things about the United States, because if you suggest that such a thing as systemic racism exists, then children won't love America anymore.


Specifically, SB 377 prohibits Idaho public schools and institutions of higher education from compelling any student "to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to" certain dangerous tenets — again, not that any member of the Lege has actually found any schools teaching these ideas:

That any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior.

That individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin.

That individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin.

Further, the bill forbids schools from making any "distinction or classification of students ... on account of race or color," while adding that, fine, the state isn't actually forbidding "the required collection or reporting of demographic data," either. We guess the upshot is that if a kid in history class talks about being Black, the teacher or professor will have to shush them.

For good measure, the bill also declares an "emergency," so the prohibition on badmouthing white people can go into effect right away. The bill passed in the Senate on a 27-8 vote, mostly along party lines.

Before the vote, there were some crazies who suggested the whole mess was a lot of culture war posturing, like Boise Democrat Janie Ward-Engelking, who said the bill wasn't needed, because

Our universities and school districts already have procedures in place that will deal with any problem we have in curriculum. What's happening is we have a group that's put out for public release comments that our teachers are brainwashing our children with a liberal leftist indoctrination. And that's simply not true. And we need to call that out. If that were true … we would not be the reddest state in the nation.

Well sure, but to prove Idaho remains the reddest state in the nation, our legislators need to panic about very real problems, like the imminent takeover of the state by radical Islamists or by sharia law hiding in child support bills, or by mask-promoting tyrants.

Speaking of, when the House version of the bill was being debated last week, perennial Wonkette favorite state Rep. Heather Scott (the child support = sharia law lady) offered, as proof that children are being indoctrinated, a very scary anecdote from a substitute teacher who contacted her with concerns about the use of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird in a Boise English class. The message of the book, according to the substitute teacher, was clear, Scott said:

White people are bad, black people are innocent victims, and the students were encouraged to believe that there was an endless era of black victimization. That's being taught down here.

Scott is from northern Idaho, not the bastion of godless communism that is Boise, you see. What's more, Scott insisted, the substitute teacher told Scott that the English class was

more riddled with authors, like our founding historical fiction books and the books that kind of talk about the founding of this country, she said it's been riddled with writings from third-world experiences by authors that are completely unheard of, but they are non-white race. So any non-white author is basically being given priority over the historical readings.

Yes, why aren't the English classes teaching our founding historical fiction books?

Rep. Sally Toone, a Democrat, objected that Scott was relying on second-hand information, since the complaint came from a substitute teacher who most likely jumped to conclusions. Like, unless the sub produced a lesson plan instructing them to tell the kids to hate America.

Another Democrat, Rep. John McCrostie who's an actual teacher, said it was pretty unlikely any teacher in Idaho even had the time to

indoctrinate students on critical race theory because they have been trying and working their tails off to take what they know how to teach and convert it into a hybrid, a virtual, even in-person learning due to COVID.

See, not only are teachers Marxists, they're lazy, too!

Before the vote, more than 100 students ranging in age from middle schoolers to college students protested after the Senate cut off public testimony on the bill before they could testify. In a rally on the steps of the Capitol, they said how disappointed they were that the Senate refused to hear from people who would be affected by the legislation.

Yvonne Shen, 13, said at a small rally that learning the real history of America, warts and all, is actually more patriotic than sanitizing it:

Many people seem to think that teaching our students about the cruelty and suffering of our country's past is some form of self-hatred for our own country. But, make no mistake, this is self-awareness. If we aren't able to recognize our own flaws, we will never be able to progress beyond them.

Then again, the Idaho Falls Post-Register does point out that Ms. Shen is "a member of the Idaho Asian American Pacific Islander Youth Alliance at North Junior High," so clearly those critical race theorists have already taught her to see race as somehow important, when clearly it is not.

So now the bill goes to Gov. Brad Little, who's likely to sign it, and then it's on to the inevitable legal challenges from the ACLU. In a related development, Idaho's absolute loon of a lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, has set up an anti-indoctrination task force to collect reports of ideological crimes by teachers. The task force will "examine indoctrination in Idaho education and ... protect our young people from the scourge of critical race theory, socialism, communism, and Marxism."

The editors of the Post-Register have a nifty idea, at least: Since the committee is soliciting snitches to tell all about whatever nastiness they see in a classroom — like maybe the teaching of To Kill a Mockingbird — instead,

the committee should hear from every parent who values the tremendous sacrifices teachers make to ensure their child has the opportunity to learn and grow. You can submit a report to the committee at tinyurl.com/indoctrination-committee.

Students who are aware of what's happening should speak up forcefully as well. It's their education at stake, and they should let this new inquisition know what they think of it.

Sounds like an opportunity to stir up some good trouble.

[Idaho HB 377 / Idaho Statesman / Idaho Falls Post-Register / KTVB / Post-Register / Idaho Press / Intercept]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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