A school district in Georgia has approved a resolution that would prevent certain divisive concepts about race from being taught in the classroom.
A divided Cherokee County School Board on May 20 voted to not adopt critical race theory as part of its curriculum, following a heated debate. The board voted four in favor and one in opposition to the resolution; two members abstained.
The public hearing was attended by about 400 parents and other county residents who were concerned about the teaching of the quasi-Marxist doctrine that has risen to new prominence following the rise of far-left groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
The theory has been heavily promulgated throughout academia, entertainment, government, schools, and the workplace in recent years. It promotes a perspective that claims America’s history should be defined through a sole focus on the struggle and suffering caused by “oppressors” (white people) against the “oppressed” (everybody else), without room to discuss other factors that shaped society at the time.
The movement to push back on the expansion of CRT in schools and workplace training has fueled a heated debate over how cultural and racial sensitivity education should be conducted. Conservatives have warned that the CRT movement isn’t about eliminating racism and is simply pushing divisive concepts. On the other side of the issue, progressives and Democrats argue that the CRT approach would advance equity for all.
Some Republican-led states are currently considering or have passed measures that prevent the instruction of critical race theory in schools.
During the debate on May 20, Republican Georgia state Rep. Brad Thomas, who was the first speaker during the public comment period, said he’s drafting a bill aimed at prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory in the state. He told the board that his bill has already drawn support from lawmakers from both chambers and that he hopes to complete the drafting of the bill in six to eight weeks.
“I was quite disturbed with what I found out about critical race theory. It draws undeniable parallels from Marxist ideologies, it’s a disaster. CRT flies in the face of American core values and that is because it focuses on skin color instead of focusing on what’s important, and that is content and character,” he said during the meeting.
Some Cherokee County parents spoke in favor of teaching equity in schools. One woman said, “The census shows this community, despite what people say, is not very diverse.”
The board meeting comes on the same day Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, wrote a letter to the state Board of Education opposing the teaching of the doctrine.
“Over the last several weeks, I have heard from parents, students, administrators, and educators across our state who are extremely concerned about the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Georgia,” Kemp wrote.
“Like me, they are alarmed this divisive and anti-American curriculum is gaining favor in Washington, D.C., and in some states around the country.”
He asked the state Board of Education to prevent the concept from ever being taught in Georgia schools.