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Utah leader warns against overreach in fight over critical race theory, on ‘Utah Politics’ podcast:

‘When you ban something, there has to be a reason,’ Utah GOP chair Carson Jorgensen warns

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Carson Jorgensen gives high fives after it is announced that he is the new Utah Republican Chairman following long awaiting voting during the party’s convention at the Maverik Center in West Valley City on Saturday, May 1, 2021.

New Utah GOP Chairman Carson Jorgensen says the debate over teaching of race and racism in Utah’s schools is important, but he doesn’t want the rhetoric to lead to bad policy.

“We have to be very specific when we’re talking about critical race theory because it’s become a kind of a byword at this point. A lot of people are labeling things that aren’t CRT as CRT at this point. It’s such a hot-button issue,” Jorgensen said.

Critical race theory is not taught in Utah’s public schools. In June the Utah Board of Education passed rules on how race and equity are addressed in the state. Last month the Utah Republican Party passed a resolution against adding the topic to the curriculum in Utah’s schools.

Asked about the proposal from Rep. Steve Christiansen, R-West Jordan, who has suggested banning “divisive topics” in Utah’s classrooms as a roundabout way of blocking topics parents might object to, Jorgensen said he disagreed with the approach.

“We need to be careful. Banning anything that’s divisive could lead to math being considered divisive. When you ban something, there has to be a reason behind it,” Jorgensen said.

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