Members of Glynn County’s delegation to the Georgia General Assembly are joining the governor and other state officials in rejecting a public school curriculum that would include teaching students that the nation’s history is tainted with racism.
The course they are rejecting, known as the critical racial theory, has been recommended by the administration of President Biden to the U.S. Department of Education. The theory seeks to highlight how historical inequities and racism continue to shape public policy and social conditions today.
Republicans say the theory, which has not been formally introduced in the public school system by the state, promotes a distorted view of American history that teaches that white people are evil.
“It is a route to dangerous ideology and has no place in our Georgia schools curriculum,” said state Sen. Shelia McNeill, R-Brunswick. “We should focus on making sure our children get the best education without bias or political influence.”
Rep. Buddy DeLoach, R-Townsend, also strongly disagrees with any move to teach the concept to school children.
“The federal government has no place in determining what is taught in Georgia schools,” DeLoach said. “’Critical Theory’ is Western European Marxist philosophy that aims to destroy capitalism and our constitutional republic.”
U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, the Pooler Republican whose district includes Glynn and surrounding counties, supports a letter written by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr rejecting any federal mandate on CRT that might be in the offing.
Carr added his voice to that of a coalition of 20 attorneys general when he wrote a letter to the Biden administration rejecting the teaching of the theory in Georgia schools.
“I believe in history by addition, not history by revision,” Carr said, calling the theory flawed and radical.
Carter applauds Carr’s remarks and joins him in turning a thumbs down to “the Biden Administration’s radical proposals.”
“Parents in Georgia tell me they don’t want their kids taught critical race theory at the expense of teaching them to read, write, and do math,” Carter said.
Gov. Kemp also has expressed opposition to it in recent days.
In a letter to the Georgia Board of Education, Kemp urged members to “take immediate steps to ensure that Critical Race Theory and its dangerous ideology do not take root in our state standards or curriculum.” Board members are appointed by the governor.
Georgia Education Superintendent Richard Woods indicated in a Facebook post May 11 that there was no movement in the state to require the theory be taught.
“The Georgia Department of Education has no current or proposed standards that include CRT concepts,” Woods wrote. “We will not be adopting any CRT standards nor applying for or accept any funding that requires the adoption of these concepts by our state, schools, or classrooms. We will not provide trainings that seek to promote these teachings to educators and support staff.”
A request for comments from the offices of Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, both Democrats, went unanswered.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.