Gov. Noem releases draft legislation blocking Action Civics from schools
PIERRE, S.D. – On Monday Governor Kristi Noem released the text of draft legislation intended to block an alternative form of civics education, know as ‘action civics’, from being made the basis for instruction in South Dakota schools.
Along with critical race theory, action civics has been a controversial aspect in discussions of public school funding. With an emphasis on participation in activism over traditional classroom civics lessons, critics of action civics claim it’s a tool of indoctrination.
“As John Adams said, ‘Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.’ They should not, however, be forced to choose one political ideology over another or be forced to protest or lobby as part of their education.” Noem stated in a press release.
In September of 2021, Governor Noem had directed the South Dakota Department of Education to delay the process of revising the state’s social studies standards. This followed her signing of Executive Order 2021-11, which intends to ban critical race theory and action civics as the basis for instruction in South Dakota schools.
Noem had initially requested a delay of up to a year in order to allow time for public input and for additional voices to be heard. Monday’s release follows Noem’s December, 2021 legislation to block Critical Race Theory in South Dakota schools, public universities and technical colleges.