Area news

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents has asked the state's six public universities to provide a list of courses that include Critical Race Theory concepts.

The regents request came in response to a request from Sen. Brenda Dietrich, a Topeka Republican, who said she was seeking information on the theory only so she could better answer questions from her constituents.

Critical race theory seeks to show how historical inequities and racism affect current public policy and social conditions. Critics say it promotes a distorted view of American history and vilifies white Americans.

Dietrich, a former superintendent of the Auburn Washington school district, said she had no intention of creating a chilling effect at the universities, The Kansas City Star reported.

"I don't see that we've got an issue here in our state. What we're doing now makes sense," Dietrich said.

Gwendolyn Bradley, a spokeswoman for the American Association of University Professors, called the request too uncommon and "entirely inappropriate."

"This type of request has a chilling effect on academic freedom. Administrators and faculty may fear repercussions, and even where there is no bill or law prohibiting the teaching of race theory, they may censor themselves," Bradley said.

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