State Representative Brad Thomas (R-Holly Springs) on Thursday filed a bill that he said would, if enacted into law, prohibit Georgia public school officials from teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the 1619 Project.
Thomas did not return The Georgia Star News’ request for an interview Thursday. He said in an emailed press release that his bill, House Bill (HB) 888, “would prohibit curriculum that could be considered discriminatory on the basis of race from being taught in public schools.” HB 888 also includes a transparency requirement that would allow all parents to view the educational materials given to Georgia students.
“In May 2020, Rep. Thomas announced his plans for HB 888 at a local school board meeting. Since then, he has partnered with Heritage Action for America’s policy specialists and conservative public education experts to develop this legislation,” according to Thomas’ press release.
“When drafting this legislation, Rep. Thomas based its language on the legal foundation of the First Amendment and included language to protect against compelled speech (14th Amendment). He also worked to ensure that this legislation would provide for equal protection under the law according to Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones created The 1619 Project, which promotes the idea that America’s “true founding” occurred when slaves arrived in the colonies. The 1619 Project frames the history of the country around race and slavery.
As for CRT, members of the Georgia Board of Education voted last June to formally oppose teaching it in the state’s K-12 classrooms. Board members, according to their resolution, described beliefs such as CRT as “concepts 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.”
Gwinnett County School Board members held a tense meeting in June to discuss CRT.
A Cobb County school counselor who advocated for CRT and intersectionality resigned from her job in July. That woman, Jennifer Susko, said the school district’s ban on anti-racism curricula prompted her to leave.
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