Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Tuesday that will prohibit critical race theory education in school curricula and in mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training.
The new law applies to Iowa’s governmental agencies and entities, school districts, and public postsecondary educational institutions.
Going into effect on July 1, the law (HF 802) blocks the promotion of “divisive concepts” in diversity training. Ten provisions of the new law include:
The idea that one race or sex is superior to another race or sex
The United States and Iowa are fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist
An individual race or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive
Discrimination or adverse treatment of an individual because of their race or sex is prohibited
Members of one race should not attempt to treat others without respect based on race or sex
An individual’s morals aren’t determined by race or sex
That traits like “hard work ethic” are racist or sexist
Race or sex scapegoating is prohibited
Race or sex stereotyping is prohibited
The legislation defines “race or sex stereotyping” as describing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.
In a statement, Reynolds said, “Critical race theory is about labels and stereotypes, not education.”
Richard Delgado, a professor of law at the University of Alabama and author of the book “Critical Race Theory,” wrote that the theory is a “progressive legal movement that seeks to transform the relationship among race, racism, and power.”
The law also prevents the teaching of “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” in relation to an individual’s race or sex.
According to the law, public institutions “may continue training” for students and employees to foster a respectful workplace and learning environment, but public institutions should not include training such as the “divisive concepts” highlighted.
In February, the Iowa House proposed a bill that would bar funding from schools teaching the 1619 Project, a historical curriculum shaped from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Project, as previously reported by The Daily Iowan.