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Georgia bills seek to limit inappropriate school materials

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Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 11:41 AM EST
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ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers are advancing two measures meant to limit public school students’ access to inappropriate or obscene materials.

A House subcommittee on Thursday passed a bill to tighten standards preventing schoolchildren from using school computers or internet networks to view material harmful to minors.

Another House committee on Wednesday passed a bill creating a process for parents to demand removal of books and other materials.

The anti-obscenity measure would let parents file objections with a school’s principal.

The principal would have seven business days to decide whether to remove or restrict access.

Parents could appeal to their local school board.

The measures are part of a broader conservative push on school issues this year.

For example, conservative efforts to regulate what Georgia schools can teach about race are advancing in the General Assembly.

That comes as the public has gotten its first chance to comment on the proposed ban on teaching so-called divisive concepts.

A House Education subcommittee sent a revised version of House Bill 1084 ahead to the full committee on a split voice vote, where it awaits further action.

Republican Rep. Will Wade of Dawsonville says the measure is needed to stop people from fomenting racial division.

Opponents say the measure would frighten teachers away from an honest classroom discussion of race in history and the present times.

In other legislative news this week on education issues, Gov. Brian Kemp says he’ll introduce legislation to give parents the power to decide whether their kids will wear masks in school.

“As some school systems continue to ignore the science, concerned parents, and the well-being of students, in the coming days my office will be introducing legislation to give parents the final say on masking for their children,” Kemp said on Twitter.

The announcement follows tweets with similar sentiments on Monday.

“A small handful of school boards continue to ignore the science and impose mask mandates on our children while leading Democrats refuse to follow the mandates when visiting those same schools,” he tweeted. “Enough is enough.”

From reports by WGCL/CBS46 and The Associated Press