Press "Enter" to skip to content

Noem Lies: New Executive Order Doesn’t Ban Critical Race Theory Any More Than Her Watered-Down Thought Control Bills Did

When Governor Kristi Noem announced to small gathering in Mobridge yesterday that she planned to issue an executive order to ban critical race theory in K-12 schools, she lied:

I brought two bills this Legislative Session that banned critical race theory from being taught in our classrooms in our K-12 schools an another one that banned it in our universities. The Legislature supported and passed and I signed into law the university one. So now in South Dakota going forward critical race theory cannot be taught in our universities. They killed the K-12 one. I will be signing an executive order to make sure that critical race theory is not taught to our kids in our public school systems, too [Gov. Kristi Noem, town hall meeting in Mobridge, transcribed from audio, in Jody Heemstra, “Noem to Sign Executive Order Today Banning Critical Race Theory from Being Taught in K-12 Public Schools,” DRG News, 2022.04.05].


  1. Noem brought no bills that banned critical race theory this Legislative Session. House Bill 1012, in its original form, mentioned “critical race theory” in its title but said nothing about critical race theory in its substantive text. House Bill 1337 never mentioned “critical race theory” or its basic tenets. Both bills targeted “divisive concepts“, but the definition of that vague concept does not include critical race theory.
  2. Noem never proposed a bill on this subject focused on universities. Her original HB 1012 applied to all schools—elementary, secondary, and post-secondary. The House Education Committee narrowed the bill to focus only on post-secondary schools. As passed, it deals with Regental universities and the state’s technical colleges.
  3. As amended, HB 1012, “the university one”, does not stop university professors from teaching critical race theory. Section 5 of HB 1012 specifically exempts “the content or conduct of any course of academic instruction or unit of study at an institution of higher education under the control of the Board of Regents or the Board of Technical Education….” Our universities aren’t teaching much critical race theory, but under Section 5 of HB 1012, they remain free to do so.
  4. The order Noem issued today, Executive Order 2022-02, does not stop any South Dakota K-12 teacher from teaching critical race theory. Of course, K-12 teachers are highly unlikely to be teaching a complicatedgraduate-level legal theory, but if they want to, EO 2022-02 does not stop them. Noem gives the Department of Education six dubious directions, but, perhaps recognizing that she has no legal authority to dictate classroom content to local teachers and school boards, the Governor doesn’t mandate or restrain any action by teachers or local school boards. Noem’s order does not and can not “make sure that critical race theory” or anything else “is not taught to our kids in our public school systems.”

But hey, when all you need is headlines and campaign donations, who needs fact or effective policy?


  1. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-04-05

    The ACLU disapproves of Noem’s insincere censorship:

    Gov. Kristi Noem’s bill that would have censored classroom discussion on race in K-12 public schools was killed by the Senate Education Committee last month.

    Despite the legislature’s unwillingness to codify Noem’s desired policy, Noem today signed an executive order directing the Department of Education to accomplish her goal of censoring classroom discussion of what she calls “divisive concepts.”

    The ACLU of South Dakota opposes Noem’s executive order. The First Amendment protects academic freedom and the right to share ideas, including the right of individuals to receive information and knowledge. Instead of encouraging learning, Noem’s executive order will have a chilling effect on academic freedom.

    “This executive order is overly-broad and opens the door to a wide variety of interpretations that could censor free speech and important discussions about systemic racism,” said Jett Jonelis, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager. “Students deserve to have a free and open exchange about our history — not one that erases the legacy of discrimination and lived experiences of Black, Indigenous and other people of color. All young people deserve to learn an inclusive and complete history in schools, free from censorship like this.”

    Noem’s executive order further politicizes the already fraught and significantly delayed cycle of setting education standards which has been condemned by Indigenous South Dakotans, educators and civil rights groups like the ACLU of South Dakota. That Noem has skirted the legislative process with an executive order is also troubling.

    “The ability to discuss and debate ideas, even those that some find uncomfortable, is a crucial part of our democracy,” Jonelis said. “Our elected officials had lengthy debates about Noem’s legislation during session and ultimately voted to kill the bill. By coming back with an executive order that is strikingly similar to her original bill is a subversion of our entire democratic process” [ACLU-SD, press release, received by DFP 2022.04.05].

  2. larry kurtz 2022-04-05

    Mrs. Noem is on a trajectory to eclipse Mr. Thune’s haul, no?

  3. grudznick 2022-04-05

    Your blogging is wrong. It was a large, standing room only gathering. The NDS runs think tonight, no doubt a result of the Wismering that took place.

  4. JNNelsen 2022-04-05

    Size is relative, 20 people in a closet is a ‘packed house’. Still doesn’t change the fact that ‘no content’ Kristi doesn’t understand education. I am reminded of that famous commercial; “where’s the beef?”

  5. grudznick 2022-04-05

    The beef, as you call it, is usually found around level Three of the Seven Indisputable Levels of Teacher.
    The SILT has been proven to be true, over and over again, as it is indeed indisputable and it really angers some of you fellows.

  6. larry kurtz 2022-04-05

    Hebrew schools rule, right grud?

  7. larry kurtz 2022-04-05

    God forbid schools in South Dakota tell students about apartheid in the Mideast so-called Holy Land while avoiding the rape of Turtle Island by European colonizers, right grud?

  8. grudznick 2022-04-05

    Handsome Dan and The Pilgrim might agree with you, Lar

  9. larry kurtz 2022-04-05

    Yer a law school grad, grud and Mrs. Noem is what they call a confidence criminal.

  10. larry kurtz 2022-04-05

    New Mexico endures multitudinous symbols of conquest, genocide and colonization. The Royal Road of the Interior that extended 1600 miles from Mexico City to Santa Fe was established some 400 years ago by Spanish Conquistador Juan de Oñate, infamous for the 1599 Acoma Massacre.

    The extreme white wing of the Republican Party wants a not so civil war over CRT because churches and oligarchs fear an admission of guilt implies liability and they will be compelled to pay reparations to Indigenous and to the descendants of enslaved people.

    It’s a crime
    Share it fairly, but don’t take a slice of my pie
    So they say
    Is the root of all evil today.”

  11. Mark Anderson 2022-04-05

    Kristi will have a hard time banning facts. Right Ian?

  12. Donald Pay 2022-04-05

    That EO is a fart in the wind. She’s a transgender version of Donald Trump, playing with her small penis and writing nonsense for the benefit of the dumb crowd.

  13. DaveFN 2022-04-05

    “I think our kids should be taught a true history, and that should not be in our classroom.”

    As reported on KOTA News tonight.

    She speaks a truth unbeknownst to herself. Her words betray her.

  14. Nick Nemec 2022-04-06

    What is a divisive concept?

  15. Dana P 2022-04-06

    And the governor of projection actually told a reporter in Mobridge that they needed to tell the truth.

    Good grief

  16. O 2022-04-06

    Anything that has “indisputable” in its title has, by its very nature, shut down critical thinking and questioning; therefore, has NO place in modern education.

    The SILT, as with all grudznick utterances, has NEVER “proven” to be true — only reasserted ad nauseam.

  17. O 2022-04-06

    There are two camps of thought in conflict here: one says that we should look for any racism or discrimination that lies hidden, inherent to the system, and root it out; a second says that we should not look for discriminatory shortcomings of the system. I continue to be dumbfounded as to how the camp that seeks to perpetuate racism can paint themselves as the “good guys” in this fray.

    Denying the existence of something because one refuses to look is NOT the same as being able to say that it does not exist. The answer to society’s ills has never been to ignore them until they go away.

  18. DaveFN 2022-04-08

    Lie, bad faith, both?

    “The essence of the lie implies that the liar is fully aware of the truth he is disguising… We do not lie about something we do not know about…The liar intends to deceive…through the lie consciousness affirms that it exists in its nature as hidden from the Other….The situation cannot be the same for bad faith, if this latter really is—as we have said—a lie to oneself. In appearance therefore, bad faith has the appearance of a lie. But what changes everything is that in bad faith it is from myself that I am concealing the truth…A person who espouses bad faith must be conscious of his bad faith, because the being of consciousness is a consciousness of being.” —Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, new translation by Sarah Richmond, Washington Square Press: Print edition September 7, 2021, pp 89-91.

Comments are closed.