« What Trump's Decision to Withdraw From the Climate Accord Means for Teachers | Main | Testing Opt-Outs Threaten School Equity, Measurement Group Says »

Lawmaker Supporting Confederate History Named to Ga. Civics Ed. Panel

 A former Georgia teacher whose controversial remarks about slavery, the Ku Klux Klan—a white supremicist organization—and Confederate memorials, has been appointed to a panel in the state that will make recommendations on civic education, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Rep. Tommy Benton, a Republican, was named to the position alongside two others on June 2 by Georgia House Speaker David Ralston. A retired history teacher, Benton drew criticism in 2016 when he called the Ku Klux Klan "not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order," in remarks printed by the newspaper.

Benton has also pushed bills to forbid the moving of Confederate memorials and a resolution to celebrate "Confederate History Month," in which he referred to the Civil War as a "four-year struggle for states' rights, individual freedom, and local governmental control," among other things. That description stands at odds with contemporary historiography, which notes that the Civil War was explicitly fought over the legality of slavery. (You needn't look further than Georgia's own Declaration of Secession for proof; it references slavery in its second sentence.)  

The civics study panel was put together to review Georgia's current civics education programming and make recommendations on its standards, curriculum, and assessments.

Some educators have already denounced Benton's appointment on Twitter. In explaining their choice, officials at the Georgia house pointed to Benton's decades of classroom experience teaching both state and American history.


Commenting temporarily disabled due to scheduled maintenance. Check back soon.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments