Georgia Board of Education asserts America is not racist, will limit discussions about race
Gov. Kemp had directed board to combat critical race theory
The Georgia Board of Education is taking steps to prohibit schools from teaching that the U.S. is fundamentally racist and other controversial ideas associated with critical race theory (CRT).
By an 11-2 vote, the state adopted part of a resolution drafted by a senior fellow from the conservative think tank Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. It contains language restricting external, private influences from changing school teaching — an apparent attempt to exclude diversity consultancies or activist nonprofits from administrators' decision-making.
The resolution also prevents teachers from being forced to teach that an individual's worth or sense of shame should be dependent on their race or sex.
It reads, in part: "[C]oncepts that impute fault, blame, a tendency to oppress others, or the need to feel guilt or anguish to persons solely because of their race or sex violate the premises of individual rights, equal opportunity, and individual merit underpinning our constitutional republic, and therefore have no place in training for teachers, administrators, or other employees of the public educational system of the State of Georgia."
Brian Kemp, the state's Republican governor, reportedly urged the board last month to take steps against CRT, which is often seen as the source of these ideas.
Georgia's is just the latest attempt to halt so-called "anti-racist" trainings and curricula in their tracks. Some have defended those types of teachings as a way to foster understanding and dismantle purportedly systemic inequities. Others, like Chris Rufo, have described them as a form of neo-racism that unfairly attributes certain concepts or actions to racial groups.
The issue gained steam in national media this year as controversial materials emerged. For example, the Oregon Department of Education was found to promote a teacher training program that argued white supremacy manifested itself in a focus on finding the right answer in math.
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Besides individual racial characteristics, American history has also been a subject of these trainings. Schools across the U.S. have started utilizing the "1619 Project," which teaches, among other things, that the institution of slavery was the nation's true founding.
A series of the resolution's statements seemed to be aimed at disputing those types of ideas. The board, it says, "[b]elieves the United States of America is not a racist country, and that the state of Georgia is not a racist state."