Statement from Sen. Berger on Gov. Cooper’s Veto of House Bill 324

Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed House Bill 324 today.

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said, “It’s perplexing that Gov. Cooper would veto a bill that affirms the public school system’s role to teach students the full truth about our state’s sometimes ugly past. His invented excuse is so plainly refuted by the text of the bill that I question whether he even read it.”

Sen. Berger continued, “More broadly, Democrats’ choice to oppose a bill saying schools can’t force kids to believe one race is superior to another really shows how far off the rails the mainstream Democratic Party has gone.”

What’s in the Bill

The legislation does not permit public schools to compel students “to affirm or profess belief in” several discriminatory concepts, including:

  • That one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
  • An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive;
  • An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;
  • A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist;
  • Particular character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs should be ascribed to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.

The bill affirms the public school system’s mission to accurately teach students about North Carolina’s racial past and all of its ugliness, including the cruelties of slavery, the Wilmington riots, and the Jim Crow era.

The bill explicitly protects impartial instruction “on the historical oppression of a particular group of people based on race [or] ethnicity” and “assigning materials that incorporate concepts for educational purposes in contexts that make clear the public school unit does not sponsor, approve, or endorse such concepts or works.”