Educators react to newly signed school measures in Georgia

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:39 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There are new laws in effect in Georgia impacting your child’s education. Governor Brian Kemp signed a series of bills Thursday.

One of the most talked-about, House Bill 1178, is known as the ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights.’ It states parents have the right to know and direct what their child is taught at school.

Another, House Bill 1084, known as the ‘Protect Students First Act’, looks to regulate what teachers can teach to students. Banning ‘divisive concepts and ideologies’ from the classroom.

Under the Protect Students First Act, there are now nine concepts not up for discussion any longer in the classroom in Georgia.

And teachers say Kemp’s pen to paper is more than just ink to them.

“Do I use this concept for this lesson? Do I use another concept? Do I avoid this topic altogether? And when we do that, we are not providing our students the well-rounded, full education that they need,” said Lisa Morgan, president of the Georgia Association of Educators.

Several controversial concepts, now come with an asterisk attached.

Lynthia Ross, chief public relations officer said: “If there are any changes that will be implemented, those changes will come to us from the Georgia Department of education, and we’ll continue to follow their standards.”

This discussion started when Critical Race Theory became a hot topic across the nation. The wording of the new bill bans any discussion that an individual by race is inherently or consciously racist or oppressive towards other races.

Richard Woods, Georgia superintendent said: “For me, as a teacher, and even a superintendent that, you know, look at these bills said, Would it impede my ability to teach? And I felt that they do not impede my ability to teach.”

Others with the grading pencil give it an ‘F’.

Morgan said: “Curiosity leads to learning. But if a student asks a question, and the teacher says, ‘we can’t talk about that, that’s not appropriate for us to discuss.’ What happens to the student and that curiosity? Eventually, the students will stop asking.”

In a statement, Columbia County School District representatives say they already have two draft policies on the table for discussion. One for divisive concepts and the other for parental rights.

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