ATLANTA — The state senate advanced a bill attacking Critical Race Theory in schools. It’s a concept not taught in Georgia public schools – but a concept getting a lot of election year attention from Georgia Republicans.
Critical Race Theory isn’t actually mentioned in the bill – but attacks on it from Fox News and other conservative media sites have fueled legislation like the bill that passed the Senate, for a second time, Friday.
The bill still needs House passage and the signature of Gov. Brian Kemp to become law.
The bill would make it state law to not go too far teaching children about America’s troubled racial history.
"We can teach U.S. history – the good the bad and the ugly – without dividing children along racial lines," said state Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), the senate president pro tempore.
The bill makes it illegal to teach children that the state or nation are systemically racist.
The bill uses language like “divisive concepts” and “race or ethnic scapegoating” to curb the teaching of race relations -- and orders school boards to create a “complaint resolution policy” for parents if they don’t like what’s being taught.
Critics claim it censors teachers. Teachers have told lawmakers the bill is too vague and too restrictive.
This week, students opposed to the bill complained they were shut out of a hearing on the measure.
"It occurred to me how absolutely absurd these divisive concepts were," Jayna Connor, a student from Savannah, told reporters afterward. "Never have I seen a student or a teacher tell another student they're racist simply because of mistakes their ancestors made in the past. It simply doesn’t happen."