Utah State Board Of Education Considers Equity Training For Teachers And Guardrails Around Curriculum – KUER 90.1

The Utah State Board of Education is considering a new rule that would require public school districts and charter schools to provide diversity, equity and inclusion training for teachers. It would also place guardrails around curricula related to race and other identity groups. The Standards and Assessment Committee passed the first version Thursday night, though it still has to be reviewed by the full board.

The creation of the rule pre-dates the recent national debate around Critical Race Theory in schools. That debate has put greater focus on the issue though, as outspoken parents argue that equity and diversity trainings are CRT in disguise. They say both CRT and various diversity training plans overemphasize race and make white people feel guilty for the racism of their ancestors.

“We may have the highest viewer ratings of the season,” said committee chair Scott Hansen at the start of the meeting. “We recognize the substantial nudge we got here from the Legislature to take some action.”

State lawmakers recently passed a resolution on Critical Race Theory. The education board’s proposed rule adheres to the criteria laid out by the Legislature, specifying that equity trainings cannot promote or endorse ideas that say a “student or educator’s sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or membership in any other protected class is inherently superior or inferior to another,” or that a student bears responsibility for the past actions of someone from the same identity.

The rule also makes