Georgia GOP pushes new bill addressing how race is taught in classrooms
Georgia Senate Republicans filed a bill Wednesday that would address how race is taught in classrooms, from elementary schools to colleges. Specifically, Senate Bill 377 would prohibit K-12 schools and higher institutions like units under the University System of Georgia and state technical colleges from teaching “divisive concepts.”
The bill was spurred by debates around the country over an academic concept called critical race theory. The bill does not explicitly mention the controversial concept, which Gov. Brian Kemp promised to eliminate from classrooms in his 2022 legislative priorities.
The specific academic framework of CRT wrestles with how race is embedded in legal systems and policies, but it’s not typically taught in K-12 schools.
Yet, the Senate bill introduced by Cornelia Republican Sen. Bo Hatchett leaves much to interpretation. It defines “divisive concepts” as teaching that the United States, and the state of Georgia, are fundamentally or systemically racist. It also prohibits teaching that an individual is inherently racist or oppressive solely because of race, skin color or ethnicity — or that someone should feel “discomfort, guilt or anguish” because of those features.
WABE political reporter Sam Gringlas got a copy of the bill and broke down what we know so far with WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress.
Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.