WABE's Week In Review: Georgia's new education laws, Kemp vs. Perdue and saving thousands of bees

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference, Aug. 26, 2021, in Marietta, Ga. Gov. Kemp and top Republican challenger David Perdue clashed in two debates over the past week ahead of next month’s gubernatorial primary. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Georgia became the latest state to approve sweeping conservative classroom priorities ahead of the midterm election when Gov. Brian Kemp signed a slew of controversial education bills on Thursday.

The controversial measures include ones that affect how teachers can talk about race, that make it easier for parents to get books reviewed in school libraries and that open the door to prohibiting transgender kids from playing on the sports team that matches their gender identity.

“We weren’t elected by the people of this state to shy away from what some would call controversial,” said Kemp at the bill signing. “The bills we’re signing into law today are about doing the right thing.”

“How are you going to teach the three-fifths compromise if you cannot teach white supremacy and that the United States is racist?” said Anthony Downer, who teaches American Government at Douglass High School in Atlanta. “How can you not teach intersectionality when you have to teach about the lived experience of people throughout history who have different identities and different experiences?”

Others criticized Kemp for signing the bills in Forsyth County, where Black residents were terrorized and forced out more than 100 years ago. Now, four percent of Forsyth’s population is Black, compared to 33 percent of the state.

Kemp vs. Perdue…

Gov. Kemp and his chief Republican rival for the nomination for governor, former U.S. Senator David Perdue, battled in two debates over the last week. Both were centered on Perdue, who is backed by former President Trump, and their false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen.

For more analysis of the gubernatorial race, check out WABE’s political podcast Georgia Votes 2022.

Atlanta’s tech scene over the last 20 years…

Atlanta’s tech scene has evolved a lot over the past decade. Major tech companies are establishing offices here, hoping to tap into the city’s supply of tech workers, while tech entrepreneurs continue to compete for funding and attention. On this week’s episode of WABE’s Tech Cast, we feature a conversation with Emman “Small Eyez” Twe, who’s hosted the Atlanta tech podcast “Digital Good Times” since 2014.  

Saving bees…

A beekeeper examines a package of mostly dead bees at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport on Sunday evening. (Matthew Pearson/For WABE)

More than 600 pounds of bees were supposed to go from Sacramento to Anchorage, but, due to flight cancellations, the bees ended up at the Delta cargo bay in Atlanta.

But the heat started killing the bees. Then Georgia beekeepers rushed to the airport to save them.

Senate looks at military housing…

U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia is leading a bipartisan investigation on living conditions in military housing. (Andrew Harnik / AP Photo)

A U.S. Senate investigation alleges ongoing abuses in military housing at Fort Gordon in Augusta. It is a bipartisan investigation into a military housing contractor led by Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff.