In a move in support of Conservative idealas, the Texas Senate recently voted to approve the elimination of certain public school curriculum requirements. This legislation is clearly against "critical race theory" (a theory that "race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies), which many believe is a result of "liberal indoctrination."
Cutting over a dozen requirements, the bill would allow Texas public schools to no longer have to teach students about Martin Luther King Jr., the KKK, the women's equality movement, and several other topics connected to the Civil Rights movement.
Texas law currently states that students must be taught about "the history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong."
The bill pushed through by the Texas Senate (in a vote of 18 to 4) will now give public schools the right to create their own history curriculums and not limit what history teachers can teach.
Texas Republicans believe this bill will effectively push against "critical race theory" or "liberal indoctrination."
Republican Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick spoke in favor of the bill saying, "[the bill negates] philosophies that espouse that one race or sex is better than another." He also said that the bill benefits parents who "want their students to learn how to think critically, not be indoctrinated by the ridiculous leftist narrative that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism."
Texas Democrats have spoken out against the bill, saying it's "a way for the Texas school system to whitewash American history."
CNN's Julian Zelizer spoke out against it as well in saying, "[the] kinds of bills that we are seeing pass in states like Texas amount to the imposition of a very particular version of patriotic education that seeks to downplay the failures and injustices of the United States. This quickly becomes propaganda rather than history."
The bill has yet to pass in the Texas House, so it is not currently in effect. Fifty-one House Democrats walked out after the near passage of an anti-voting bill. Several have since tested positive for COVID. The House will not be able to vote on this educational bill until it reaches quorum.
This bill comes on the heels of another law which instructed how schools could teach social justice. In June, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law which said that students must be taught "historical documents related to the civic accomplishments of marginalized populations" and could not teach subjects in such a way that would hold modern-day individuals responsible for the choices of their ancestors.
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