When it comes to classroom curriculum, voting rights, and abortion access, the unsaid rule is this: if one Republican-controlled state government passes a law, you can expect more will follow, which is why it’s crucial for us to pay attention and participate in the midterm elections in the fall. Florida passed their ‘Parental Rights In Education” law almost two weeks ago, otherwise known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. It didn’t take too long for the Senate Republicans in Georgia to craft their version.
The Hill reports the Georgia Senate introduced SB 613, or The Common Humanity in Private Education Act, similar to the Florida law. SB 613's main purpose is to “deter developmentally inappropriate classroom discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation” for primary school students.”
The bill also claims programs adopted by schools that are based in “critical theory” have caused “private schools to segregate students, staff, and parents by ethnicity, color, race, and national origin.”Georgia’s General Assembly claims it witnessed instances in which teachers and school administrators have “inappropriately discussed gender identity with children who have not yet reached the age of discretion.”
While this is a cause for alarm, the bill itself missed a deadline to get out of committee. Legal experts still warn parts of the bill could be added to another piece of legislation via an amendment.
“The danger is lessened given the timing, but nothing is final ’til the gavel comes down on sine die. Beware the Christmas Tree Bill at the last hour,” Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University, wrote on Twitter.
Others warn that this bill and others like it will have an adverse effect on school children.
“We know it’s not about parental rights,” said Jeff Graham, the executive director of the LGBTQ advocacy group Georgia Equality. “It really is about restricting the activities, participation and learning of children in school.”