A school district in Georgia this week voted to approve a resolution that would prevent certain divisive concepts of race from being taught in the classroom.
A divided Cherokee County School Board on Thursday 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 from voting.
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) to the “oppressed” (everybody else), without room to discuss other factors shaping 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 and Republicans have warned that the CRT movement is not 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.
A line of Republican-led states is currently considering or have passed measures that prevent the instruction of critical race theory in schools.
During the debate on Thursday, Georgia State Representative Brad Thomas (R), who was the first speaker during the public comment period, said that he is drafting a bill aimed at prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory in the state. He told the board that his bill has already garnered support from lawmakers from both chambers and that he hopes to complete the drafting of the bill within 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,” Thomas said during the meeting.
Meanwhile, some Cherokee County parents also spoke in favor of teaching equity in schools, saying that, “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 (R) 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 theory from ever being taught in Georgia schools.