Georgia Governor Signs Controversial Education Bills into Law

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on April 28 signed several controversial education bills into law, including those that would restrict classroom discussions on race and ban transgender athletes from sports.

Kemp, a Republican, said at the signing ceremony that the bills would increase transparency and grant parents “the ultimate say” in their children’s education.

One of the measures Kemp signed was the “Protect Students First Act” which restricts teachers on how to address so-called “divisive concepts and ideologies,” such as race and racism, including that the United States is “fundamentally racist.”

The same measure also gives the Georgia High School Association the authority to exclude transgender children from participating in sports that match their gender identity.

Kemp also signed the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” that grants parents access to classroom instruction material.

Another bill Kemp signed removes “obscene materials” from school libraries and forces local school boards to adopt a “complaint resolution process” for parents challenging library materials they deem “harmful.”

Kemp also signed a bill that ensures school board meetings are transparent and another bill that allows retired teachers to return to the classroom full-time in high-need areas.

Jalaya Liles Dunn, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning for Justice project, said that the bills set “a dangerous precedent that allows our democratic government to dictate, conceal and censor accurate information they disagree with,” NBC News reported.

In a video conference, Andrea Young, the executive director of American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, said that their legal teams were “prepared to defend the constitutional rights of students and educators if this law impedes their ability to learn and teach.”

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