NEWS BRIEF: Lawmakers tried to censor students protesting ‘divisive concepts’ bill

After driving from Savannah, students were finally allowed to speak on Tuesday.

Georgia Capitol At Night CL File Photo
Photo credit: CL FILE
Georgia Capitol Building in Downtown Atlanta

A dozen high school students wanting to challenge Georgia lawmakers on a ‘divisive concepts’ bill were prevented from speaking at a Monday meeting of the Senate Committee on Education and Youth. After driving from Savannah and waiting for hours to be heard, the teens were told there wasn't enough time left for their points of view. 

"The actions of this committee directly impact the education (students) can receive," Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) responded during a press conference the next day. "They drove hours to tell the committee their stories. We will not let them be silenced." Rep. Bee Nguyen (D-Atlanta) told the group: "The Capitol is the people's house, and you should feel empowered to be here, and empowered to be heard."

The bill in question would stop certain facts about race and racism from being taught in local schools, and forbid depicting the United States as inherently racist. “In school we are supposed to be taught about critical thinking in all aspects,” said 12th grader Madeline Pelli, who finally got a chance to speak on Tuesday. “I couldn't wait to put my thoughts and considerations on the committee floor to at least be heard." gpb.org