American civil rights attorney and former teacher Leo Terrell lashed out at Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday for signing a bill last month ending the requirement for high school students to prove proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic before graduation.
Brown, a Democrat, passed the Senate Bill 744 on July 14 without any press release until two weeks later on July 29.
Later, Charles Boyle, a spokesman for the governor, said the new standards for graduation would aid Oregon's "Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of colour," according to Yahoo News reports.
The bill, which suspends the proficiency requirements for students for three years, has attracted controversy for at least temporarily suspending academic standards amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Terrell, talking to Fox News, too lambasted the new bill and alleged, "she's (Kate Brown) embarrassed about this and keeping it quiet because it insults people of colour."
"Education is the key to break the poverty cycle."
Furthermore, the 66-year-old questioned how the new bill will help people of colour. "My mother had an 8th-grade education, my dad a high school education. You lower the standards, you dumb down kids," Terrell continued.
"I think it's embarrassing, insulting and more importantly, it's racist because it implies that just because of skin colour, you can't pass a test."
Terrell also hit out at the Democrats and the liberals and said, "this is the progressive left's form of education, dumbing down kids. And... more importantly, dumbing down kids of colour because they don't believe that they can handle the skillset they required for everyone.
"You no longer have to read or write or count because of -- just because of your skin colour. It's insulting to anyone in this country."
Previously a life-long Democrat, in a July 2020 interview, Terrell declared his support for President Donald Trump—the first time he declared support for a Republican Party presidential candidate.