The Michigan House dove into the national debate over critical race theory on Tuesday when the GOP forced through a bill sharply restricting school lessons that promote race or gender stereotyping.

The bill passed 55-0 Tuesday with Democrats refusing to vote after Republican Rep. Brad Paquette of Niles, who chaired the contentious session, cut off debate while opponents of the bill still wanted to speak.

It now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate. If the Senate approves the bill, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to veto it.

The bill doesn’t specifically mention critical race theory, a college-level academic framework that explores the lingering effects of centuries of white supremacy and racist policies that disadvantage people of color, but its intent is clear to both opponents and to the bill’s sponsor, Port Huron Republican Andrew Beeler. Beeler said he was careful not to invoke the term that conservatives across the country have used to condemn curricula they deem too liberal.

“The reason I don’t use that language in this bill is because it means too many different things to too many different people,” he said.

CRT isn’t taught in Michigan schools, but Rep. John Damoose of Harbor Springs said constituents have told him their children have been given assignments asking them to write about “how to become less white.”

Beeler said his legislation would prohibit public schools from teaching “anything that could be understood as race or gender stereotyping.” It prescribes no penalties.

For the rest of the story, go to the BridgeDetroit website.