Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen today issued an Attorney General’s Opinion (AGO), holding the use of “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) and so-called “antiracism” programming in many instances is discriminatory and violates federal and state law. The AGO, which carries the weight of law in Montana, was issued after a May 12 request from Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen.
The AGO determined that many of the activities undertaken in the name of CRT across the country in public education – such as “privilege walks” and disciplining or grading students differently based on race – and in the work place – such as telling employees to be “less white” – are violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Article II, Section 4 of the Montana Constitution; and the Montana Human Rights Act. Schools or entities that violate state or federal civil rights laws jeopardize their funding and may be liable for damages.
“Committing racial discrimination in the name of ending racial discrimination is both illogical and illegal. It goes against the exceptional principles on which our nation was founded and has no place in our state,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “Montana law does not tolerate schools, other government entities, or employers implementing CRT and antiracist programming in a way that treats individuals differently on the basis of race or that creates a racially hostile environment.”