San Antonio, TX

Critical Race Theory Wants Texas Children to Know the Truth

Tom Handy

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Critical Race Theory in San AntonioPhoto by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

Texas Republican lawmakers have passed Senate Bill 3, as they try to take control of how certain topics are discussed in schools. This is to prevent “critical race theory” from being taught.

San Antonio teachers said they do not teach critical race theory in schools. Normally, the theory is introduced in college-level courses. Recently, Texas Republicans passed Senate Bill 3 limiting critical race theory from getting taught in schools.

A high school teacher and co-founder of PODER, the Social Justice Caucus of the San Antonio Alliance, Luke Amphlett, said the bill makes it harder for teachers to talk about important topics.

"We have a duty to make sure that our students understand the world around them," Amphlett said.

Experts in academia said politicians have taken “Critical Race Theory” and turned it into something it’s not.

Critical Race Theory states that U.S. social institutions (e.g., the criminal justice system, education system, labor market, housing market, and healthcare system) are laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race.

Amphlett teaches social studies at Burbank high school and estimates about 98 percent of students at the school are Latino. He said his job has gotten harder with the passage of HB 3979. SB 3 replaces the bill but they are very similar.

"It's impossible for my students to really understand the world if this bill's provisions tie the hands of teachers and prevent them from talking about really important topics for their students," Amphlett said.

Senate Bill 3 tries to limit how racism, current events, and the country’s founding are taught in schools.

The bill states teachers don’t have to discuss current events or public policy. Teachers don’t have to teach about the history of white supremacy. Teachers are not required to teach about the writings of Martin Luther King Jr. or the Chicano movement.

"In making it not seem so bad. We got away from the underlying issues which continue to impact the lives of black people into 2021," Jasmine Harris, Ph.D. and Associate Professor of African American studies and Coordinator of African American Studies Program at UTSA. She said the legislation makes her sorrowful.

Harris said politicians have taken “critical race theory” and turned it into something it’s not.

"It's been turned into you're blaming white people for everything that's wrong with the country," Harris said. She said the theory's intent is to discuss the long-standing issues Black people experience as a result of racism being embedded into institutions.
"In making it not seem so bad. We got away from the underlying issues which continue to impact the lives of black people into 2021," Jasmine Harris, Ph.D. and Associate Professor of African American studies and Coordinator of African American Studies Program at UTSA. She said the legislation makes her sorrowful.

Texas Senator Bryan Hughes authored the bill.

"My students too often already tell us that they are not represented in the curriculum," Amphlett said.

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