Georgia joined a growing number of Republican-controlled U.S. states that ban schools from teaching divisive academic concepts about racism.
The measures are part of a movement among conservatives aimed at teaching critical race theory, an academic theory that looks at structural racism in U.S. institutions that are not generally taught at the elementary or high school level.
Here in Georgia, our classrooms will not be pawns to those who indoctrinate our kids with their partisan political agendas, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said on Thursday at a bill-signing ceremony in Cumming, Georgia. The bill protects the fundamental right of moms and dads across the state to direct the education of their child. The bills prohibits any instruction that states that the United States is fundamentally racist or that individuals should feel anguish, guilt or any other form of discomfort or stress because of their race.
Several states, including Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma, have passed similar bans. Most people don't mention critical race theory by name.
The once-obscure academic concept has caused school board protests and is misunderstood among the general public, according to a July 2021 Reuters Ipsos poll.
Liberals have claimed the term in schools and statehouses nationwide to denounce curricula and policies they consider too liberal, while conservatives have claimed the bans are tantamount to academic censorship.
After Brian Kemp signed a slew of anti-education bills into law, Georgia parents and educators let him know that they CONDEMN this legislation, Georgia Democrats tweeted Thursday afternoon with signs reading No banning books. We won't stand by quietly as Kemp attacks teachers, censors what's taught in classrooms, and politicizes our schools. Ahead of a May 24 primary, polls show him holding a comfortable lead over Trump's preferred candidate, former U.S. presidential candidate. Senator David Perdue, despite Trump's frequent criticism of the incumbent governor.
In Georgia a bill that bans divisive concepts when teaching about race or history also sets up a commission to oversee school sports, opening the door to prohibiting transgender students participation.
It was opposed by many Democrats in the state.