Commissioners pass resolution on critical race theory; governor signs bill

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution calling for Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to veto a bill that bans the teaching of critical race theory.

Opponents of its teaching in schools call it divisive.

RELATED: Tennessee bans teaching critical race theory in public schools

Those who want it taught in classrooms say it’s a part of history.

Commissioners are calling for Lee to oppose the bill the General Assembly passed before ending its session earlier this month.

If it becomes law, the bill will prevent funding to school districts that teach critical race theory, known as CRT.

It teaches that racism is a part of U.S. institutions and that whites benefit from it.

It’s referred to as White Privilege.

Commissioner Van Turner supports the commission resolution and was a sponsor.

TRENDING: Construction set to begin on Liberty Park development at the old fairgrounds, city says

FOX13 asked him if he thinks it’s likely Lee will veto the bill.

Turner said he doesn’t think so but said it’s still a win for that this resolution passed Monday.

“But on something as critical as this, race, something as critical as what we experienced I think maybe a year ago with the murder of George Floyd, and the protests, this is something that I think we should hold our ground on,” he said.

FOX13 reached out to Senator Brian Kelsey’s office Monday to get his reaction to the Shelby County Commission.

Kelsey supported the bill in Nashville.

Kelsey released a statement saying, “Critical Race Theory teaches that American democracy is a lie. It teaches that the rule of law does not exist and is instead a series of power struggles among racial groups. It is harmful to our students and antithetical to everything we stand for as Americans and Tennesseans.”

Lee’s office confirmed to FOX13 the bill was signed.

“The Governor signed the bill and believes Tennessee students should be taught history and civics with facts, not divisive political commentary.” – Spokeswoman for Governor Lee

FOX13 also reached out to SCS for a comment. They told us, “The District will continue to assess the impact of this new legislation.”