Georgia senate passes bill limiting discussion of race in schools
‘We must teach that America is good’ says top Republican of bill banning teaching that US is ‘fundamentally racist’
The Georgia senate passed a bill on Friday that would limit discussions of race in kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms.
House Bill 1084, the “Protect Students First Act”, was approved by the Georgia senate. The measure requires local school boards and administrators to ban discrimination on the “basis of race” by limiting how race can be discussed in classrooms.
Under the bill, discussion topics that would be banned include teaching that “one race is inherently superior to another race” or that the US is “fundamentally racist”, reported CNN.
“We can teach US history, the good, the bad and the ugly, without dividing children along racial lines,” said the Georgia senate president pro tem, Butch Miller, of the bill that passed 32-21.
“We must teach patriotism and that America is good, though not perfect, that America is good,” Miller added.
The bill already passed the Georgia house, but will return to that chamber for final approval after small changes were made in the senate, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). If approved, the measure will go to the Republican governor, Brian Kemp, to be signed into law.
Kemp has already signaled support for initiatives like House Bill 1084. During his state of the state address in January, Kemp said that he would support lawmakers trying to stop the “divisive ideology” of “critical race theory”.
Despite support from Republican lawmakers, the bill has received sharp criticism, with students and teachers who are leading protests at the state capitol in opposition, reported AJC.
“It’s time for us to be able to have these uncomfortable conversations candidly,” said Maurice Brewton, a US history teacher in Georgia, to AJC. “We don’t want to continue to push the conversation back and make the next generation have to deal with it,” added Brewton.
Like Georgia, other state legislators have either passed or proposed initiatives censoring education in classrooms.
In Mississippi, law makers passed a bill banning the teaching of “critical race theory” in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges throughout the state.