For Immediate Release
February 26, 2016
ATLANTA --“As public school educators, we are inherently against any form of discrimination, not only when it comes to children and their education, but also in the overall daily interactions as we go about living our lives,” said Dr. Sid Chapman, president of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE). “This is why we felt we could not idly standby without voicing our opposition to HB 757, the purported ‘Religious Liberty Bill,’ that in its current form would allow forms of discrimination in the name of religion.”
Chapman says HB 757 represents a paradox. “We teach our children that many Pilgrims and other early colonists came to this New World to escape religious persecution, yet here we are fighting legislation that would allow discrimination based on religious beliefs,” he said.
In addition, Chapman says our public schools could suffer adverse economic consequences should such legislation become law. “Our public schools derive their operating funds from taxes collected from individual taxpayers and businesses. Companies could decide to move out of state or not to start up. Business boycotts and lost conventions are more likely because of bills like HB 757. It would hurt our local and state economies and, consequently, reduce the monies available to run our public schools. This is why we are joining our voice with groups and businesses such as the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, HJ Russell & Co., and the companies of Georgia Prospers such as Coca-Cola, Home Depot, IBM, Google and UPS against passage of HB 757. We believe it would hurt our economy. If our economy loses, public education loses.”