FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order that prohibits critical race theory from being taught to kids in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
On her first day in office, Sanders signed the executive order to prohibit what she calls indoctrination from being taught in public schools.
“Things like critical race theory discrimination and indoctrination have no place in our classroom,” Sanders said.
However, Dr. Caree Banton, director of African American Studies at the University of Arkansas says critical race theory is only being taught at the graduate level.
“Critical race theory is a form of legal scholarship,” Banton said.
Banton says critical race theory looks at the different ways the institutions of the U.S. can affect certain people differently.
“Critical race theory is then saying, ‘What kind of ways can the law perpetuate injustice? Can it include it via race? Via class? Via gender?'” Banton said.
Sanders says she’s protecting Arkansas children and getting them prepared to enter the workforce.
“We have seen a tremendous amount of public support for making sure that our schools and our education system are actually focusing on teaching our kids versus indoctrinating them,” Sanders said.
Banton says even though critical race theory is not in our K-12 curricula, the governor’s executive order might go further than its state objectives.
“If we’re not training or educating our population in this state, that is full of so much potential to be culturally competent. To be able to respond to the needs of a growing and changing diverse world, we are really doing an injustice to Arkansas and Arkansans right now,” Banton said.