Tennessee General Assembly Passes Bill Banning Critical Race Theory Tenets in K-12 Schools

Classroom of students.


The Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill effectively banning critical race theory (CRT) from K-12 education. The legislature had to create a conference committee on Wednesday to resolve the legislature’s conflict on amending language effectively banning CRT in schools. That conference committee not only approved the ban – they added onto the ban. In addition to the original language of the bill outlining and banning 14 tenets of CRT, The Tennessee Star was informed by State Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) that the conference committee report added on three tenets. In effect, these tenets further defined the prohibited conclusions typically advanced by CRT.

“(12) The rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups; (13) All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; or (14) Governments should deny to any person with the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law[,]” read the added provisions.

Johnson expressed to The Star that he was pleased that Tennessee had effectively banned CRT from K-12 education.

“I’m very happy that we have passed a strong bill to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in Tennessee public schools,” said Johnson.

Members on the committee were State Representatives John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka), Mark White (R-Memphis), and Yusuf Hakeem (D-Chattanooga), and State Senators Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield), Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), Mike Bell (R-Riceville), Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville), and Johnson. The House adopted the conference committee report, 69 to 20; the Senate adopted it 25 to 7.

In a quick back-and-forth on Tuesday, the House and Senate battled over Ragan’s eleventh-hour amendment banning CRT tenets after it passed in the House that same day. First, the Senate rejected the House’s amended version of the bill. In response, the House refused to back down from its support of the amended bill. Then on Wednesday, the Senate was presented with the House’s refusal to drop support of the CRT ban. Once again, they rejected the amendment.

As The Star reported earlier this week, this bill effectively bans CRT in K-12 education by prohibiting schools from using any curriculum or supplemental materials promoting conclusions of hierarchies or prejudices based on race or sex. It also prohibits any depiction of the United States as “fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist” or the advocacy of a revolution.

The complete list of prohibited subject matter is reproduced below:

(1) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;

(2) An individual, by virtue or the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously;

(3) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the individual’s race or sex;

(4) An individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race or sex;

(5) An individual, by virtue or the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;

(6) An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual’s race or sex;

(7) A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist, or designed by a particular race or sex to oppress members of another race or sex;

(8) This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist;

(9) Promoting or advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government;

(10) Promoting division between, or resentment of, a race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, social class, or class of people; or

(11) Ascribing character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.

Once engrossed, this bill will head to the governor for final approval.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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6 Thoughts to “Tennessee General Assembly Passes Bill Banning Critical Race Theory Tenets in K-12 Schools”

  1. Steve Allen

    Good. K-12 is public education that is funded by the tax payers. I will bet the majority of Tennesseans DO NOT approve of this Marxist attempt to indoctrinate our children.
    Instead of teaching white children to hate themselves and to be tolerant of others, which I’m pretty sure they already are, maybe the money and effort should be focused on changing the behavior of people who cannot fit into society in a peaceful legal manner, and that would be people of ALL RACES. As usual, the democratic/liberal/progressive/socialist mentality is to make the law abiding citizens suffer for the bad behavior of the anti-social people. A classic example is law enforcement officers who are attempting to enforce the law by arresting people who are already criminals and are breaking the law. When they are justifiably forced to use deadly force against criminals, the left makes them out to be the bad guy.

    Least we not forget, the Democratic Party was the party of Jim Crow and segregation and they have not changed. South Carolina Republican Tim Scott has been called an Oreo and Uncle Tim by democrats in the last week or so because Scott recently stated that America is not a racist nation. The hypocrisy of the Left is there for all to see. Maybe Critical Race Theory should be mandatory for democrats only, they seem to be the true racists.

  2. Kevin

    This is a GREAT first step! But we MUST become more vigilant. The Left will not stop. The people who allowed this BS to seep into our schools are still there and still in charge. The fact that they believe this stuff is deeply disturbing, and although they may be entitled to their opinions, they are NOT entitled to teach or extol these ideas to our children!

    This was just a small battle in the larger campaign to take back our country and Make America Great Again!

    1. David Stockton

      You assert that there exists a ” Marxist attempt to indoctrinate our children” Is there anything in fact you can cite to or provide that there exists some ” Marxist attempt to indoctrinate our children”? Are you saying that the Tennessee General Assembly or some local school board is Marxist ? What, in particular, is it that has been taught in schools so far, is “Marxist ? ” I just do not understand whether or not to accredit the assertion you are making unless you can enlighten me a bit about who it is that is or has been “indoctrinating” children with such….. If there is no such existing attempt to “indoctrinate,” then I as a rational fellow call “shennagians,” and “bullshit” on these first few sentences. If you cannot cite some instance of a ” Marxist attempt to indoctrinate our children”.. .then how could anyone take you seriously? I reply only to respectfully ask you to help me evaluate your post. Is there some school in the state that is teaching ” white children to hate themselves ?” …also I think the term is “Uncle Tom” and not “Uncle Tim”, but correct me if I am wrong and you are right about that.

      1. Steve Allen

        In response I would like to direct you to two links. The first covers Marxism and CRT:


        And you are correct in the historical term “Uncle Tom”, but the specific racial slur was Uncle Tim:


  3. Ms Independent

    I don’t see a story on House Republican Caucus leadership, House Majority Leader William Lamberth, Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison, Assistant Majority Leader Ron Gant, and Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton ramming thru the huge cut to unemployment. Taking it from 26 weeks to 12 weeks only- the lowest in the entire country! Seriously? I hope they lose their jobs! Very hard to find good paying jobs in 12 weeks especially if you are over 50! This is just another reason I’m no longer a Republican! These idiots are out of touch! Faison repeatedly calls people “lazy”. Restaurant owners say they can’t get people to work b/c of the extra unemployment! Then hire Full Time and pay a decent wage! Offer health insurance and benefits! They are done for the year now in the Tennessee legislature after this fiasco. I call that LAZY!!I hope Governor Lee doesn’t sign this horrible unemployment fiasco!

    1. 83ragtop50

      If one cannot find a job within 12 weeks then one must look at one’s self and ask why? One might consider taking a job in another discipline or even temporarily take a part time job instead of slopping at the public trough.