On Friday, the Georgia Senate passed a law restricting race talks in kindergarten through 12th grade schools.
The Georgia Senate passed House Bill 1084, the “Protect Students First Act.” The bill mandates local school boards and administrators to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race in the classroom by regulating how race may be mentioned.
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.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the measure has already cleared the Georgia house but will return there for final passage following minor adjustments in the senate (AJC). If passed, the bill would be signed into law by Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp.
Kemp has previously shown his support for bills such as House Bill 1084. Kemp said during his state of the state speech in January that he would assist lawmakers working to end “critical race theory’s” “divisive ideology.”
Despite Republican legislators’ backing, the plan has been widely criticized, with students and teachers joining anti-bill rallies at the state capitol, according to the 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.
Other state lawmakers, like Georgia’s, have passed or proposed legislation limiting curriculum in schools.
Mississippi lawmakers enacted a measure prohibiting the teaching of “critical racial theory” at primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions across the state.