Tennessee Republicans take on critical race theory lessons

NASHVILLE — In the final days of the legislative session, Republicans in the Tennessee House reopened an education committee to rein in what public schools will be allowed to teach on the topics of racism and inequality.

Members of the House education administration committee — which had previously closed for the year — returned Monday morning and advanced legislation intended to prohibit schools from teaching lessons about systemic racism, among other topics touching on race and sex.

Three Democratic lawmakers — all of whom are Black — were the only legislators to vote against the measure during the committee. 

The effort, spearheaded in part by Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, comes as conservative activists nationwide have increasingly sounded the alarm about ideas aligned with critical race theory being taught in both primary schools and higher education institutions.

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