Nebraska GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts told Newsmax on Friday that the state's Department of Education needs to be vetting curriculum materials "much more closely," and parents need to remain vigilant about "what kids are being taught in schools."
His comments comer after materials recently published by the department claim conservatives are "racist" for opposing critical race theory.
"These were documents that the Department of Education — which does not report to me, they report to a separately elected board — linked to publicly, as materials for teachers to use as part of their 'Launch Nebraska' to recover from the pandemic, and they linked to these documents that accused conservatives of being racist," Ricketts told "National Report."
"We actually caught it in June and told them to take it down," he continued. "It just highlights that what the Department of Education needs to focus on is reading, writing, and arithmetic and not activism."
Critical race theory is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in American law intended to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that the U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist.
The Daily Caller reported last week Nebraska's Education Department created the "Launch Nebraska" platform to give schools in the post-COVID-era reopening guidelines. The website allegedly became a resource for promoting the plan in Nebraska schools by the 2021-2022 school year, according to the Caller.
"They need to be vetting these materials much more closely, and this is a problem, especially when we see last year they had this huge push by one of their activist board members to push sex ed standards that were completely age inappropriate," Ricketts said.
"Last year, when they had the sex ed standards problems, we did town halls around the state to get parents motivated to show up at the board meetings, and they did by the thousands," the governor continued. "It's something that we have to remain vigilant with, as long as we've got these activist board members on our state board of education."
According to the Caller, state Sens. Steve Erdman, Steve Halloran, and Dave Murman are calling for an investigation into the department's alleged promotion of critical race theory and potentially inappropriate sex education curriculum.
"This is something that parents need to be continuing to watch what kids are being taught in schools, and I certainly appreciate the legislature launching an investigation into this to see how this happened in the first place," Ricketts said.
When asked about the impact of inflation on the Cornhusker State, Ricketts said it is "absolutely" affecting people.
"Nebraska families are suffering because of what the Democrats have done in Washington, D.C.," he said. "They've spent literally trillions of dollars — 13.5% up on groceries, 15.5% up on electricity costs. I mean, these are things that are impacting families, and, as much as Democrats want to say, Oh, this is not a big deal, American families understand it is because they're paying the price for it."
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