Critical race theory has people, teachers, lawmakers talking about its future in North Carolina

North Carolina news

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The subject of critical race theory has people across the country talking.

The method of teaching and analyzing history has been around since the 1970s. Educators say it gets students to take a critical look at how all aspects of our lives are shaped by race and race relations.

“What critical race theory does is allows us to center our conversations on those groups and communities of people, and how they have been impacted using counterstories,” said Dr. Crystal Chambers with the East Carolina University College of Education.

Not everyone is on board with the theory. At least 16 states are considering or have signed bills into law limiting educators from teaching certain ideas within critical race theory.

One of those is House Bill 324 in the North Carolina General Assembly.

“Like everyone else, I want America to be truthful about what America has been and what it is now, and our future,” said State Sen. Norman Sanderson (R-1). “We need to be truthful and honest.”

The bill is currently sitting in the committee on rules and operations in the Senate. Sanderson’s constituents are concerned about the practice.

“It’s probably a good idea that we fully understand what is being taught on a day-to-day basis in our schools and the concepts our children are being given, and how they should act,” Sanderson said.

HB 324 doesn’t mention critical race theory by name. It does prohibit schools from promoting specified belief concepts.

“Just by suppressing the information, just by suppressing the set of methods, it doesn’t make the underlying truths go away,” Chambers said.

Sanderson is focused on the state budget right now. He imagines the North Carolina Senate will take a look at the bill once the budget process is completed.

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