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Georgia school officials condemn Critical Race Theory, a move praised by Kemp

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 7:40 AM EDT
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ATLANTA - Georgia’s education board has approved a resolution that says the U.S. and Georgia are not racist and students should not be taught that racism or slavery are anything but deviations from the country’s “authentic founding principles.”

The measure was approved by an 11-2 vote on Thursday.

It was introduced amid a national reckoning with race that has prompted governors and legislatures in Republican-controlled states across the country to try to define what race-related ideas can be taught in public schools and colleges. Tennessee, Idaho and Oklahoma have already passed laws banning Critical Race Theory from being taught in schools.

The Georgia resolution is symbolic and does not impose restrictions on school districts or teachers, although it could lead to binding rules in the future.

Gov. Brian Kemp praised the Georgia Board of Education’s move, which came after he called in May for swift action. He’s called Critical Race Theory a dangerous ideology and urged schools to stay away from it.

“I applaud the members of the State Board of Education for making it clear this dangerous, anti-American ideology has no place in Georgia classrooms,” Kemp said Thursday in a statement.

“State school board members have ensured education in the Peach State will reflect the freedom, equality, and God-given potential of each individual.”

What is Critical Race Theory?

“Critical Race Theory argues that racism and discrimination are systemic, meaning that they’re built into the institutions that exist in the U.S.,” said Dr. Mary Lizotte, an associate professor at Augusta University, told News 12 a few days ago.

Lizotte says teaching Critical Race Theory should have a place in schools.

“You would be doing the students and the community a disservice if you take this off the table,” she said.

Where do local schools stand?

  • The Columbia County school district says it has no plans to incorporate Critical Race Theory into the classroom right now.
  • Richmond County school officials say they’re following state guidelines, which don’t require Critical Race Theory.
  • Across the river, Aiken County schools decided to table a discussion about three new courses and how they relate to the theory.

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