State House Dems Walk Out Of Special Session Vote On Critical Race Theory
May 19, 2021, 7:45 PM | Updated: May 20, 2021, 5:46 am
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah House Democrats walked out during the final vote on a Republican resolution to recommend that the Utah State Board of Education ban teaching critical race theory in schools.
They called the resolution wrong.
Gov. Spencer Cox called the special session but did not include a debate over critical race theory. He felt more discussion and study were needed before lawmakers took up the issue.
While legislators eventually approved the resolution, House Democrats said their walkout was to show they opposed tackling the issue during the one-day special session. They said it’s not the proper process for determining what’s taught in Utah schools.
Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay told KSL-TV this is government overreach and it’s inappropriate to go around processes that are already in place.
“We’ve always had how we develop curriculum,” said Spackman Moss. “It’s going down a path where you’re going to see increasing politicization of the school system.”
Utah House Democrats walk out in protest of resolutions that would urge the banning of #CriticalRaceTheory being taught in schools and supporting Utah becoming a #2ndAmendment sanctuary state.@utahhousedems @KSL5TV @kslnewsradio @KSLcom pic.twitter.com/giR3npLMjw
— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) May 19, 2021
The Utah Educational Equity Coalition voiced their opinions during a rally on the Capitol steps.
“Dismiss politically divisive policies aimed at disrupting public education. Such as the current drive to ban critical race theory,” said Curtis Linton.
Betty Sawyer, president of the Ogden Chapter of the NAACP, supported Cox’s decision not to put critical race theory up for discussion during Tuesday’s special session.
“When people say they know what it is, they’ve looked at a definition and say that’s it,” said Sawyer. “But if you go to another book, you’ll see another definition. And another definition. So why would we create policy when we haven’t come to an agreement on what something is?”
House Democrats took issue with the government trying to step in and break successful protocol for deciding what is taught in the classroom and how it’s taught.
“There’s a process and we should follow that, and it’s worked well for decades and not let extreme politics invade our public schools,” said Spackman Moss.
Even with the passing of the resolution, it holds no legal bearing but it could be an indicator of how legislators will vote next year.