Tennessee Becomes Third State To Ban Critical Race Theory In Schools

by : Julia Banim on : 26 May 2021 13:34
Tennessee Becomes Third State To Ban Critical Race Theory In SchoolsUS Department of Education/PA Images

Tennessee has become the third state in the US to ban the teaching of critical race theory in schools.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has now signed into law a bill that will prohibit critical race theory from being taught in the state’s schools. If a school is found to be in violation of this new law, it may lose out on state funding.


Under this legislation, which will come into effect from July 1, teachers will no longer be able to instruct teach ‘an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously’.

You can find out more in the following report:


‘Impartial discussion of controversial aspects of history’ will still be permitted, and it’s understood that this legislation will not apply in circumstances when a teacher is answering a student’s question or making reference to a historic figure or group.


As reported by ABC News, Lee has argued that students should learn about American ‘exceptionalism’, stating his belief that critical race theory ‘inherently divide[s]’ people.

Speaking with journalists earlier this month, Lee said:

We need to make sure that our kids recognize that this country is moving toward a more perfect union, that we should teach the exceptionalism of our nation and how people can live together to make a greater nation, and to not teach things that inherently divide or pit either Americans against Americans or people groups against people groups.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (PA Images)PA Images

Although most of the majority-white Republican House and Senate caucuses showed support for this bill, Black Democratic lawmakers have warned that it could make teachers fearful about teaching students anything about how US history has been shaped by race and racism.

As reported by Sky News, Kimberle Crenshaw, who helped found critical race theory, views this legislation as a backlash to the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, which helped shed light on institutional racism in the US and beyond.

Crenshaw said:

I want to ask, ‘what do you think critical race theory is? What is it that you think your children are being taught in school?’

Now it’s a catch-all for everything that people don’t want their children to learn. And that’s why it’s been so successful.

People don’t know what it is. But now there’s a name for that thing that goes creak in the night.


This legislation has already been implemented in the states of Oklahoma and Idaho, while a number of other states – including Texas, Louisiana and New Hampshire – are in the process of debating or approving similar bills.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, tennessee


NewsChannel 5/YouTube and 2 others
  1. NewsChannel 5/YouTube

    Tennessee Dems urge Lee not to sign bill banning critical race theory

  2. ABC News

    Tennessee bans teaching critical race theory in schools

  3. Sky News

    Why some US states are banning 'critical race theory' from being taught in schools