WEST virginia legislature
2021 regular session
Senate Bill 618
By Senator Azinger
[Introduced March 10, 2021;
to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-2-44, relating to the teaching of “divisive acts” and “critical race theory” in West Virginia schools; providing definitions; prohibiting public schools and charter schools from teaching or training students to believe certain divisive concepts; allowing a teacher to be dismissed or not reemployed for teaching or training students to believe certain divisive concepts; providing certain construction; providing for promulgation of rules; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2. state board of education.
§18-2-44. Curriculum promoting “divisive acts” and “critical race theory” prohibited.
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Divisive concepts” means the concepts that:
(A) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
(B) The United States is fundamentally racist or sexist;
(C) An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
(D) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;
(E) Members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;
(F) An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;
(G) An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
(H) Any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex;
(I) Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by a particular race to oppress another race; or
(J) Any other form of race or sex stereotyping or any other form of race or sex scapegoating.
(2) “Race or sex stereotyping” means ascribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status or beliefs to a race or sex, or an individual because of his or her race or sex; and
(3) “Race or sex scapegoating” means assigning fault, blame or bias to a race or sex or to members of a race or sex because of their race or sex. It also includes any claim that consciously or unconsciously and by virtue of his or her race or sex, members of any race are inherently racist or are inherently inclined to oppress others, or that members of a sex are inherently sexist or inclined to oppress others.
(b) Public school districts and public charter schools in this state shall be prohibited from teaching, instructing or training any student to believe any of the divisive concepts set forth in subsection a of this section.
(c) A teacher may be dismissed or not reemployed for teaching, instructing or training any student to believe any of the divisive concepts set forth in subsection a of this section.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit discussing, as part of a larger course of academic instruction, the divisive concepts provided for in subsection a of this section in an objective manner and without endorsement.
(e) The West Virginia State Board of Education may promulgate rules to implement and monitor compliance with the provisions of this section.
(f) This act shall become effective July 1, 2021.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the teaching of “divisive acts” and “critical race theory” in West Virginia public and charter schools.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.