A bill that would ban tenants of critical race theory (CRT) from being taught in public schools and colleges has passed Mississippi's Republican-dominated state Senate, with most of the Democratic minority refusing to vote on the measure.
The one-page bill doesn't mention the CRT by name. Instead, it specifically seeks to prohibit public institutions from teaching that "any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior," or that anyone should be "adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin."
In addition, the bill would ban public institutions from "making a distinction or classification of students based on account of race," except when they collect or report on data regarding demographics. State funding would not be allowed to be used for purposes that would violate the bill.
Senate Minority Leader Derrick Simmons, who requested a roll call before he led the black caucus out of the chamber, said the measure was unnecessary.
According to McLendon, even though his bill doesn't necessarily mean that the CRT is being taught in Mississippi schools, hundreds of his constituents have reached out to him, saying they want to make sure CRT will not be taught to their children.
"Systematic racism should not be taught to our children," he said.
It is almost certain that the bill will get approval from Gov. Tate Reeves if it passes the Republican-dominated state House. Last summer, the Republican governor said he was willing to sign into law a measure to prevent CRT from "sneaking" into Mississippi schools.
"I'm willing to do it," he told host Paul Gallo. "We don't have to do it if no districts are currently operating. But if that becomes apparent, I am prepared to support any legislation that eliminates the ability for CRT to be taught in Mississippi's classrooms, much like many, many, many states around the country."