Texas public schools move one step closer to scrapping mandatory classes on US civil rights movements after state senate passes bill
- Bill would stop teaching about Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez and other civil rights leaders and historic moments
- Senate also passed bill to remove requirements that students teach white supremacy is ‘morally wrong’
- Passage Comes After Governor Greg Abbott Signs Law Banning Discussion Of Critical Race Theory And 1619 Project
- However, the measure has stalled after 51 Democrats left the state to prevent the Texas House from having enough members to pass legislation.
Texas public schools are one step closer to no longer being required to teach about the various civil rights movements in US history after the state Senate voted 18 to 4 to drop the requirements on Friday.
Senate Bill 3 would allow teachers to exclude lessons about Martin Luther King, Jr., Native American history, Cesar Chaves, Susan B. Anthony, and other important figures and documents from their curriculums.
The bill is now stalled because the Texas House can’t vote on it because of the group of 51 “runaway” Democrats currently in Washington DC. Lawmakers fled the Lone Star state to block a “restrictive” vote reform proposed by conservatives.
Texas Senate Bill 3 would ensure that not only the Fugitive Slave Acts and the Indian Removal Act are no longer required in classes, but also the writings of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson that pertain to race
The bill also allows teachers to bypass classes centered on the Chicano movement, Brown vs. the Board of Ed, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
The works of Abigail Adams and Dolores Huerta would also no longer be a requirement, as would the women’s suffrage movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Texas Lt. gov. Dan Patrick, above, defended Senate Bill 3, saying students “shouldn’t be indoctrinated by the ridiculous leftist narrative that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism”
Senate Bill 3, written by Senator Bryan Hughes, removes more than two dozen education requirements and comes after Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill banning teachers from critical racial theory and the 1619 Project, academic frameworks examining the history of racism in the US
“Our classrooms should be places for fostering diverse and fact-based discussion about different perspectives,” Hughes said. “They are not intended to plant seeds for a divisive political agenda.”
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, said in a statement that the bill “will ensure that critical race philosophies, including the debunked 1619 founding myth, are removed from our school curriculum statewide.”
“Parents want their students to learn to think critically, not indoctrinated by the ridiculous leftist narrative that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism,” he added.
Last week, several students and educators from across the state testified against the passing of Senate Bill 3.
Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition members joined testimony Friday to speak out against passing Senate Bill 3
The coalition advocates improving the state of public education in Texas. Members came from across the state to voice their opinion about removing more than a dozen requirements from curricula related to the country’s civil rights movements.
The ACLU of Texas also spoke out on Twitter against the bill.
“Teachers should not be censored for teaching students about our history, no matter how difficult elected officials find it difficult to talk about race,” the ACLU wrote in a statement.
Last week, the Texas Senate also passed bills that would remove requirements teaching students that white supremacy is “morally wrong” and ban medically induced abortions after seven weeks of pregnancy, the Texas Tribune reports.
Critical race theory goes from an obscure academic concept to the most talked about cultural issue in the US
The battle over critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States over the past year.
The theory has sparked fierce national debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests across the country over the past year and the introduction of the 1619 project.
Published in 2019 by the New York Times to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, the 1619 Project reframes American history through “the impact of slavery and the contributions of black Americans to the center of the US. story’.
The debate surrounding the critical race theory concerns concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Opponents of the critical race theory have argued that it reduces people to categories of “privileged” or “oppressed” based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism as it examines the ways in which race affects American politics, culture and the law.