On Monday afternoon, legislation that supporting lawmakers say would ban critical race theory from being taught in Mississippi classrooms passed the House Universities and Colleges Committee.
An unamended Senate Bill 2133 passed with a 14-9 vote. The vote was split by race with all nine nays coming from African American lawmakers and all 14 yeas coming from white lawmakers.
The bill, which is titled “Critical Race Theory; prohibit,” does not provide a definition of critical race theory but instead states that school districts, charter schools, and public institutions of higher learning cannot teach “that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or nationality is inherently superior or inferior.”
According to State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright, critical race theory—an academic concept that race is a social construct embedded in United States legal systems and social institutions—is not being taught in Mississippi schools.
“Let me reiterate. We are not teaching critical race theory in our social studies standards. Period. The end,” Wright said in front of the Senate Education Committee nine days before the chamber voted 32-2 in favor of the bill.
SB 2133 will now head to the House floor for a vote, where Speaker Phillip Gunn is an avid supporter of banning the teaching of critical race theory. If it passes in the House, it will immediately go to the desk of Governor Tate Reeves, who is also a vocal opponent of critical race theory.