Mississippi Governor Calls for Removal of Critical Race Theory, Which Isn't Being Taught

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves on Monday called for the removal of Critical Race Theory (CRT) from schools in the state, even though it is not taught in classrooms.

The Mississippi Department of Education confirmed to Newsweek on Thursday that CRT is not part of the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards that are applied in schools across the state.

"CRT is not part of the state's academic standards. We do not have evidence that it is being taught in Mississippi public schools," a spokesperson from the Mississippi Department of Education told Newsweek.

"[The content standards] outline the skills and knowledge expected of students from grade to grade and subject to subject," the spokesperson added.

Reeves proposed the elimination of CRT from classrooms as part of his Fiscal Year 2023 Executive Budget Recommendation that mentioned "fighting back against Critical Race Theory" as one of his "top priorities" for the fiscal year 2023.

Though the state department of education said that CRT is not being taught in schools, a spokesperson from the governor's office told Newsweek on Thursday that Reeves wants "to prevent Critical Race Theory from gaining any foothold in Mississippi as we see its influence in universities and increasing in K-12 education across the nation."

"This [CRT] is about teaching that America is inherently racist and children can be born inherently racist or victimized. He [Governor Reeves] will continue to do everything in his power to ensure Mississippi's children receive that quality education, free from radical leftist ideology," the governor's office spokesperson said.

Though the governor didn't detail how he plans to achieve this recommendation, he said during a press conference on Monday that he is "calling for Mississippi in the coming session to pass legislation preventing CRT from being taught in any classroom funded by Mississippi taxpayers."

"Critical Race Theory does not result in improved critical thinking for our kids, instead, it's approached from radical leftist across the nation to teach our children a lot that this country is fundamentally racist and that your skin color makes you inherently racist. It is destructive to young children and runs contrary to basic history," Reeves said during the press conference on Monday.

Reeves' remarks sparked criticism from local commentators on social media who said that CRT is not taught in any Mississippi schools.

"CRT isn't taught in Elementary, Middle or High Schools even college. The America was built on the indigenous people and the enslaved," one commentator, Cassandra Stovall, wrote on Facebook. "Fact. Your proposals are to gut the electorate, redesign the maps and every person isn't a Republican so you are to [sic] disenfranchised others of different thinking."

Mississippi Governor Calls For Removal Of CRT
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves wants to pass a legislation to prevent Critical Race Theory from being delivered to students, even though the state department of education said that it is not being taught in schools. Above, Reeves delivers a televised address prior to signing a bill retiring the last state flag in the United States with the Confederate battle emblem, at the Governor's Mansion June 30, 2020 in Jackson, Mississippi. Photo by Rogelio V. Solis-Pool/Getty Images

Still, the governor argued during the press conference that CRT is promoted by a group of people who want to "accumulate power by dividing Americans into victims and oppressors."

"Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with teaching the truth about America's successes in teaching the truth about America's sins. We must not, however, allow the creeping influence of CRT to undermine our children's education," he added.

The governor's budget proposal also included other priorities such as investing in infrastructure, removing income tax, raising teachers' pay, and ensuring election integrity.

"My Fiscal Year 2023 Executive Budget Recommendation affirms my commitment to free enterprise, quality education and healthcare, and the elimination of the individual income tax," Reeves said on Monday in the recommendation statement.

Updated 11/18/2021, 5:26 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with a statement from a spokesperson from Governor Tate Reeves' office.

Updated 11/18/2021, 2:59 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with a statement from the Mississippi Department of Education.

Correction 11/19/2021, 6:52 p.m. ET: This story was corrected with the correct name of the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards.