HALL MONITOR: “YES” on Equality in Education in North Carolina (HB 187)

Name: North Carolina HB 187, Equality in Education

Summary: Prohibits schools from race-based discrimination, including teaching that an individual is inherently superior or guilty based on their race. 

Status: In Senate Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate.

Bill Sponsor: Rep. John Torbett, Rep. Hugh Blackwell, Rep. David Willis, and Rep. Diane Wheatley are the primary sponsors of the bill. Torbett has represented District 108 since 2010; Blackwell has represented District 86 since 2009;  Willis has represented District 68 since 2021; and Wheatley has represented District 43 since 2021.

A sponsor is a legislator who presents a bill to the legislature to be considered for a vote

Bill Breakdown: North Carolina House Bill 187 states that Article I of the North Carolina State Constitution recognizes that all people have equality and rights within the state. As such, no public school may promote any concept that suggests racial superiority or inferiority, discrimination, that moral character is determined by sex or race, or that the United States was founded for the purpose of racial oppression, among other discriminatory concepts. In effect, this bill severely limits teaching Critical Race Theory in public schools. 

The bill does allow for the freedom of speech, teaching about ethnic groups, historical controversies and oppression, and certain academic freedoms. 

Why did PDE Action support this bill? 

Racial discrimination has no place in the classroom. Parents should be able to trust schools to protect their children from discrimination, not advance it. Children should likewise not be taught that they or others are inherently good or bad by virtue of their race. 

High-quality history and civics education are essential for the next generation. Recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics found that just 13 percent of American eighth graders meet proficiency standards in history, while only 22 percent are proficient in civics. Both history and civics classes have been infiltrated by activists promoting politicized views on race and gender. It is essential that history and civics curriculums focus on historical facts and avoid further racial discrimination.