The Protect Students First Act HB 1084 was passed during the 2022 Georgia Legislative Session and signed into law by Governor Kemp. The time has come for its adoption and implementation in every Georgia school district.
The act defines and prohibits “Divisive Concepts” and requires each local board of education, and governing body of each charter school, to adopt a complaint resolution policy containing specific provisions to address complaints alleging violations of the statute.
This policy has been designed to adhere to a new section of Georgia law, Ga. Code § 20-1-11, and must be adopted by local boards no later than August 1, 2022. Model language as provided by the Georgia School Boards Association has been utilized in the development of this new policy that facilitates compliance requirements upon all K-12 units under the Georgia Department of Education. School districts can opt for model language provided by either body.
Citizens throughout the state can closely monitor their own school district boards to ensure that they acknowledge and adopt the new policies in their school board meetings. For example, Newton County School decided last week to adopt the same complaint procedure adopted by the Georgia Board of Education in a vote of 4-1. Chatham County held a first reading and discussion of the new policy at its meeting on July 13, and its policy still reads 'pending adoption,' however a recommendation for adoption of an amended form of the policy is on the agenda for the regular board meeting scheduled for August 10, 2022. A significant board accountability meeting was held on July 26 outlining many of the issues and legal parameters of the non-waiverable policy under state law. Chatham chose model language from the GASB. Counties may be unique in how they handle the complaint procedures, and they will need monitoring.
The effectiveness of the act lies in the mutual understanding of the definition of the nine divisive concepts defined and is an effort to repair the recent rapid creep of racism into the schools by means of well-funded political agendas. These divisive concepts have already wielded significant damage within and surrounding Georgia schools. They have contributed to emotionally-charged and hostile learning environments narrowed around certain viewpoints, some based on strong leftist propaganda marketed by the developers and financiers of CRT indoctrination. The pervasiveness of division in recent years has reduced the seriousness and rigor of education in the history and civic studies of American students in the state of Georgia.
1. ‘Divisive concepts’ means any of the following concepts, including views espousing such concepts:
A. One race is inherently superior to another race;
B. The United States of America is fundamentally racist;
C. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, is inherently or consciously racist or oppressive toward individuals of other races;
D. An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race;
E. An individual's moral character is inherently determined by his or her race;
F. An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race, bears individual responsibility for actions committed in the past by other individuals of the same race;
G. An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race, should feel anguish, guilt, or any other form of psychological distress;
H. Performance-based advancement or the recognition and appreciation of character traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or have been advocated for by individuals of a particular race to oppress individuals of another race; or
I. Any other form of race scapegoating or race stereotyping.
The functional tasks of the act are the following:
(1) Each local board of education, local school superintendent, and the governing body of
each charter school shall ensure that curricula and training programs encourage employees
and students to practice tolerance and mutual respect and to refrain from judging others
based on race.
(2) Each school and local school system may provide curricula or training programs that
foster learning and workplace environments where all students, employees, and school
community members are respected; provided, however, that any curriculum, classroom
instruction, or mandatory training program, whether delivered or facilitated by school
personnel or a third party engaged by a school or local school system, shall not advocate for
According to research by The Current GA in a recent article, “Parents are excited about the right to be heard, that our state recognizes their fundamental right to raise up their children,” said Cole Muzio, president of the conservative, pro-family values Frontline Policy Action, commenting on the new laws. “They’re more confident that their kids will not be indoctrinated in schools.”
However, Lisa Morgan, president of the Georgia Association of Educators, told the Capitol Beat News Service in a recent interview, "The laws are a clear attempt to divide parents and educators and make that relationship adversarial rather than the partnership it must be to guarantee the success of all students.”
Local leaders in the national No Left Turn Turn in Education organization are encouraged by the state leadership regarding policies aimed at protecting students and families. The vision is a "Future education where appreciation of American founding principles is fostered, family values are preserved, and every individual can pursue truth, virtue, beauty, and excellence." Conservative activists, such as Beth Majeroni, co-leader of the Chatham chapter of No Left Turn plan to closely monitor the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s implementation and enforcement of HB 1178 (“Parents Bill of Rights”), HB 1084 (“Protect the Students First Act”), and SB 226, which calls for the removal from libraries any materials deemed obscene. South Georgia news agencies published articles regarding the infiltration of strongly sexually charged and obscene literature into the environment of children, and Majeroni was closely involved in outing the matter to the public.
NLTE believes their goals can be accomplished first by the the education of families and educational stakeholders on the opportunities they have to speak into educational settings of all types. “We hope to have a bigger presence in the school system, more oversight, with a more critical mass of parents,” says Majeroni. The chapters aim to revive the fundamental discipline of objective thinking. Any amplification of divisive concepts, as defined, and highlighted as component parts of critical race training, have been seen to interfere with educational priorities. Majeroni believes that success lies in "the mobilization of parents all over the country, in every school and locality to organize and become actively involved in overseeing the education of their children.”
The new Georgia policy aims to slow the creep of concerning influences that NLTE acknowledges to include "Radical teachings motivated by a political agenda and deliberately spread by teachers, administrators, school board members, and even state officials have infiltrated schools across the nation. Unfortunately, all too often words such as diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, systemic racism, human rights education and health education concealed an aggressive, radical totalitarian ideology. From The 1619 Project, to Critical Race Theory, to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), the goal is to overturn our society by sowing divisiveness and hate."
The successful implementation of these stabilizing forces are now the responsibility of those who engage the educational systems and their financiers, the Georgia taxpayers.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance - John Philpot Curran
Find the amended Chatham policy in red compared to the GSBA policy below. They have redlined the document to include making the teacher aware of the complaint t all levels of the complaint process. Some believe it is to intimidate parents into not reporting for fear of retaliation to their child, which is worrisome. The teacher could mark down grades and other generate other possibly negative action expected of someone potentially violating the divisive concept policy.
Additionally, there is a short briefing on the anatomy of the new statute.