Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday applauded the State Board of Education’s decision to pass a resolution that says students should not be taught the quasi-Marxist critical race theory (CRT) in schools.
“I applaud the State Board of Education voting today to prevent Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in our classrooms,” Kemp said in a statement on Twitter. “This dangerous, anti-American ideology has no place in Georgia schools.”
The resolution—approved by an 11-2 vote—states that the United States 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.”
It came after the Republican governor on May 20 wrote a letter to the education board opposing the teaching of CRT and its “dangerous ideology” in public schools.
Kemp urged educators in his letter “to take immediate steps to ensure that Critical Race Theory and its dangerous ideology do not take root in our state standards or curriculum.”
The measure passed by the education board doesn’t impose restrictions on school districts or teachers, though it could lead to binding rules in the future.
“This resolution does not prohibit anybody from teaching anything,” board chair Scott Sweeney said during the meeting, which was held over the phone. “This is a belief statement more so than anything else or an affirmation.”
Kemp previously said that parents, students, administrators, and educators in Georgia had come to him with concerns about the teaching of CRT in state schools.
“Like me, they are alarmed this divisive and anti-American curriculum is gaining favor in Washington D.C. and in some states across the country,” he said in his letter.
CRT has gradually proliferated in recent decades through academia, government structures, school systems, and the corporate world. It redefines human history as a struggle between the “oppressors”—white people—and the “oppressed”—everybody else—similar to Marxism’s reduction of history to a struggle between the “bourgeois” and the “proletariat.” It labels institutions that emerged in majority-white societies as racist and “white supremacist.”
Like Marxism, CRT advocates for the destruction of institutions, such as the Western justice system, free-market economy, and orthodox religions, while demanding that they be replaced with institutions compliant with the theory’s ideology.
Proponents of CRT have argued that the theory is merely “demonstrating how pervasive systemic racism truly is.”
A growing number of states are passing laws prohibiting inculcation of CRT in schools and other government institutions, in response to mounting opposition to the ideology.
Lawmakers in several more states have proposed such bills, but haven’t had much success pushing them through.
Petr Svab and The Associated Press contributed to this report.