Utah state lawmakers meet for controversial special session

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Wednesday, state lawmakers met for a special session called by Governor Spencer Cox. Legislative leaders called their own special session to discuss Critical Race Theory in schools, and Utah becoming a Second Amendment Sanctuary.

The Governor wanted to leave those two items out, saying more time should be taken before discussing them.

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The debate over Critical Race Theory (CRT) involves how issues of race are taught in classrooms.

House Speaker Brad Wilson says the federal government is calling on lawmakers to discuss CRT, which includes training educators on certain curriculum.

“We are asking that they not engage in this effort to, quote on quote, ban Critical Race Theory because it is actually not happening in schools, it’s a research approach,” Curtis Liston, author of The Equity Framework, says.

This has some lawmakers and educators divided on the issue.

“The reason there is concern at a high level is that it is a curriculum that creates a narrative. You’ll see this language at times, seems like it is inconsistent with the history that we believe to be factual, and it also creates divisions, and it teaches things that, from a lot of people’s estimations, need to be taught through differently,” Speaker Wilson says.

Issues also set to be discussed include topics included in the session the Governor called. Those include topics stemming from the pandemic, like whether mask requirements can be banned in schools, and COVID-19 relief money. Affordable housing and mental health will also be discussed.

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