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Kemp signs ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights,’ other education measures

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is shown at a signing ceremony for some new education bills on April...
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is shown at a signing ceremony for some new education bills on April 28, 2022.(Contributed)
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 10:30 AM EDT
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CUMMING, Ga. - Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday morning signed into law a series of education bills, some of them controversial in some circles.

Among the measures signed in a ceremony at the Forsyth County Arts and Learning Center was House Bill 1178, known as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights.”

The bill states parents have the fundamental right to “direct the upbringing and education of their minor children.” It also says important information about a child cannot be withheld from their parent, including information related to education.

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He also signed House Bill 1084, which bans divisive concepts – such as one race being inherently oppressed and another inherently being the oppressor – from the classroom.

“Because here in Georgia, our classrooms will not be pawns to those who indoctrinate our kids with their partisan political agendas,” Kemp said.

The governor also signed bills that ensure school board meetings are transparent, ban obscene materials from school libraries, allow retired teachers to return to the classroom fulltime in high-need areas, and give the Georgia High School Association the authority to decide whether children born boys but who identify as girls can participate in girls sports.

Addressing the fact that some of the measures have stirred controversy, Kemp said at the ceremony:

“Standing up for the God-given potential of each and every child in our schools and protecting the teaching of freedom, liberty, opportunity, and the American dream in the classroom should not be controversial. Making sure parents have the ultimate say in their child’s education should not be controversial.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and family pose for a photo during a bill-signing ceremony on April 28,...
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and family pose for a photo during a bill-signing ceremony on April 28, 2022, in Cumming.(Contributed)

Outside, demonstrators – some from the group Georgia Democrats – held signs protesting the governor signing the bills into law.

“He wants to campaign,” said Forsyth County parent Angie Darnell, “and he’s trying to win the favor of people who have believed all of this rhetoric and a lot of the sensationalized stories about what’s happening in public schools.”

Inside, supporters were thrilled that the bills are becoming law.

“These bills are a start to ensure that parents’ rights are restored,” said Melissa Jackson, chief operating officer for the conservative group No Left Turn in Education.

Jackson said she’d like to see future bills go further, particularly regarding girls sports.

“What’s left to do next session is to ensure that biological males will not be allowed into the bathrooms of biological females and locker rooms and so forth,” she said.

From reports by WGCL and WRDW/WAGT