New divisive concepts law has some Georgia teachers concerned

ATLANTA — A new law listing out topics Georgia teachers can’t talk about in school have many worried about its ramifications.

When teachers return to school, they won’t be able to talk about nine so-called “divisive concepts” surrounding discussions of race, including that students shouldn’t feel guilty because of their race and that the United States is inherently racist.

Georgia’s divisive concepts law went into effect on Friday. The law’s author insists teachers can still talk about racial issues so long as it is done in an academic context.

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On Tuesday, Channel 2′s Richard Elliot spoke with Georgia Association of Educators President Lisa Morgan, who said the law will only create a greater divide between parents and teachers. She said because, as of yet, there are no hard and fast rules over those concepts, teachers don’t know where the line is.

“It’s unclear if one particular parent would draw the line somewhere that the community at large would not draw the line,” Morgan said. “How will principals and administrators handle that parent?”

Morgan also said this will affect not only history or social studies teachers but also language arts teachers. She worries they may not be able to assign historical books or novels because of their content.


But Governor Brian Kemp believes the law is necessary. He signed it back in April and said then that the law was needed to stop what he called “left-wing indoctrination” in public schools.

“It ensures all of our state and nation’s history is taught accurately because here in Georgia, our classrooms will not be pawns of those who want to indoctrinate our kids with their partisan political agenda,” Kemp said.

The nine “divisive concepts” outlined in the law include discussions of one race being inherently superior to another race, an individual bearing responsibility for the actions of other members of their race, ethnic scapegoating, ethnic stereotyping and more.

Read the full bill below.

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