Kemp said during his State of the State address in January that he would work with lawmakers to stop the “divisive ideology” of critical race theory in schools. The academic theory is taught in college courses to explore the influence of racism on institutions and society. Georgia school districts say it isn’t taught in K-12 classrooms.
On Monday, Kemp spoke from the House floor again, saying he was “looking forward to continuing the critically important conversation” on bills yet to pass that evening, including “on fairness in school sports” and “divisive concepts.”
The bill was amended on the House floor Monday to create a school athletics oversight committee that would study and determine if transgender students should be allowed to participate in public high school sports that align with their gender identity.
A bill that passed the Senate but did not get a hearing in the House would have outright required student athletes to play sports according to the gender on their birth certificate.
House Democratic Leader James Beverly of Macon decried the last minute maneuvering. “To target trans kids, to ban kids from playing sports, and to attack teachers at the same time — appalling,” he said.
Senate Democrats tried and failed to kill the legislation. After the clock ticked past midnight, the Senate approved the amended bill on a party line vote of 32-21, with Republicans voting in favor of the measure.