Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a lightning rod issue that’s quickly becoming a politicized fight in state legislatures across the country — including in our very own. In the final weeks of session, legislators should focus on banning intolerance or discrimination in classrooms by reaffirming the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and equipping teachers with the resources they need to prepare students to think critically on controversial topics.
The legislature should avoid provisions that would leave room for activist judges to interpret the laws in ways that the legislature didn’t intend. School leaders and teachers should be held accountable for teaching inappropriate material that violates a law, but thrusting uninvestigated complaints into the courts could create confusion and an intrusion of the judicial branch into executive functions. It would take one challenge in the right court system for a court case to potentially stall any traditional curricula from entering classrooms. The threat of judicial activism and overreach should encourage careful thought regarding this potential new law’s penalty and complaint process.
Creating a clear and standard escalating process by which parents can resolve a violation with the teachers and school district is important before thrusting these issues into the courts. This escalation process will also help empower communities to avoid fines and rebuild trust between school leaders, educators and parents.
First vice chair of the Arizona Republican Party