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Rubio Introduces Bill to Protect Students From Racially-Hostile School Environments Caused by Critical Race Theory

Jul 30, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced the Protecting Students From Racial Hostility Act, which would direct the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to investigate parent and/or student complaints against the use of curriculum, teaching, and counseling that promote divisive concepts and foster racially-hostile school environments. The legislation would require OCR to enforce Title VI protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when a complaint is brought forward by parents or students impacted by critical race theory curriculum. In order to increase transparency and enforcement, the legislation would require OCR to provide an annual report to Congress on the nature of these complaints, and report complaints to state Attorneys General offices.
 
“Critical race theory is Marxist-inspired indoctrination and has absolutely no place in our schools,” Rubio said. “Teaching students that they are innately part of an oppressor class or oppressed class is part of the Left’s radical agenda to rewrite the history of America. We need to protect students and parents who are willing to stand up to critical race theory and the profound repercussions it has on our schools.”
 
“Critical Race Theory and other political agendas being pushed in our schools are designed to divide us, and we need to support those who feel they are in a hostile environment in school due to these divisive concepts,” Braun said.  
 
“Critical Race Theory teaches people to judge others based on race, gender, or sexual identity, rather than the content of their character, and that’s simply wrong,” Ernst said. “Any parent that has a concern about their son or daughter being taught curriculum that promotes divisive concepts and fosters racial-hostility in the classroom should be taken seriously, and that’s what this bill will help ensure.”
 
Background: 
 
In a recent case in Evanston, Illinois, the Trump Administration’s OCR found that a school district engaged in “intentional race discrimination” when they segregated staff by race for professional development and subjected students to “privilege walks.” In an unprecedented step, the Biden Administration suspended that decision and declined to investigate it further. This bill would require the OCR to investigate these types of complaints. Mandating reporting to state Attorneys General would allow governors to hold schools in their states accountable if the OCR fails to investigate and enforce Title VI protections.
 
Rubio is a cosponsor of Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) Stop Critical Race Theory Act and Combating Racist Training in the Military Act.