“The Resolution cannot withstand the strict scrutiny it requires, and it must be struck down and its enforcement immediately enjoined to prevent further irreparable harm,” the restraining order motion reads. “As is immediately apparent on its face, the Resolution is a race-based, unprecedented and unconstitutional censorship of discussions and training about ‘anti-racism’ among a host of other prohibited topics, which violates the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The debate over the merits of diversity and equity education in classrooms, and critical race theory, across the country has become increasingly politically divisive in the past year, and the bans have gained steam in states led by Republican lawmakers. A Florida law banning critical race theory teaching took effect Friday, and state lawmakers greenlighted a similar bill in Idaho, which also included universities.
The school district Board of Education’s resolution on the ban states schools in the district may not require people to “admit privilege or oppression” nor influence a student to consider an aspect of their identity, like race or gender identity, “as a deficiency or a label” that could serve as a stereotype.
The plaintiffs argue that an enforced resolution would strip students and teachers of their First Amendment rights to free speech and information, especially disadvantaging students of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+. The complaint also states the ban would violate their Fourteenth Amendment right to due process, marked by the “vagueness” of the guidelines.
Josh Bazan, a spokesperson for the school district, said the Board of Education and school district have received the complaint and are reviewing it with legal counsel. He declined to comment further.