Clarke County school board members are crafting a statement for the full board to approve condemning the Georgia State Board of Education’s ban on critical race theory.
Originating in law schools in the 1990s, critical race theory examines how discrimination is structurally embedded in American institutions, rather than a product of individual bias, and is generally not taught at the K-12 level. But it has been twisted by Republicans recently to be synonymous with white guilt over racism. The state BOE’s resolution states that “America is not a racist country” and teaching that “an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex” is not allowed.
The state BOE passed the resolution at the urging of Gov. Brian Kemp, who is playing up hot-button conservative issues as he prepares to run for re-election in 2022. “I found it very disturbing,” said Greg Davis, chair of the Clarke County BOE’s Government and Community Relations Committee.
Davis said he spoke at length with Stanley DeJarnett, a former superintendent of the Morgan County Charter School System who was appointed by Kemp to represent Athens and the rest of the 10th Congressional District in the state BOE. Davis said he also shared a written rebuttal with DeJarnett. “He supported what was passed by the state board, and he at least said he agreed with what was written here,” Davis said.
Davis’ memo will form the basis of a resolution that will come before the full Clarke County school board for approval. Committee members Davis, Mumbi Anderson and Tawana Mattox voted unanimously to pass it out of committee but will continue to tweak the language.
“I support the idea of responding,” said Anderson, who is Black. “I don’t want to spend too much time on it. I think, at this point, it’s a moot effort.”
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.