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Georgia House panel passes bill banning 'divisive concepts'

In the shadow of the Georgia State Capitol, the entire state is bracing for an election in which the outcome of two U.S. Senate runoff races will determine whether Democrats or Republicans will control the U.S. Senate.
Posted at 3:49 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 15:49:00-05

ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia House committee has passed a bill banning the teaching of “divisive concepts” in the state’s public schools.

The House Education Committee voted 13-7 on Wednesday to ban teaching a list of items originally listed in a 2020 executive order by former President Donald Trump. The measure moves to the full House for more debate.

Banned “divisive concepts” would include claims that the United States is “fundamentally or systematically racist,” that any people are “inherently racist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,” and that no one “should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of his or her race.” Bills using identical language have been proposed in dozens of states, backed by the Center for Renewing America, a think tank led by former Trump administration officials.

Republican Rep. Will Wade of Dawsonville says the measure is needed to stop people from fomenting racial division. Opponents say the measure would frighten teachers away from an honest classroom discussion of race in history and the present.

The committee also passed parent bill of rights backed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.