It was in the wee hours of Saturday morning when state senators wrapped up an hour-long debate and voted to legislate how race is discussed in social studies classes in Texas.
“Parents complain about it. They worry about it, and that is why we are here,” said Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola).
Hughes introduced his chamber’s revised version of House Division Law 3979 which has come unofficially known as the “Critical Racial Theory Bill”.
It states that no public or charter school teacher can be required to discuss current events or controversial issues relating to public policy or social affairs. And if teachers bring up these topics, Bill says they must teach both sides without giving deference to a single perspective.
“Right now there are teachings out there, and they’re being taught in some public schools in Texas that say one race or gender is inherently superior to the other,” Hughes said. “If we don’t respond to these horrible things, if we don’t respond to these with these American ideas that we all aspire to, if we let go of them and get to that level, we can’t imagine how what a pity it is for these children and for the future of our country. “
It’s a mandate that opponents like the Association of Texas Professional Educators say is unnecessary and excludes teachers from the discussion.
“We are concerned that this will have a chilling effect on educators by dictating what they can and cannot talk about in their classes and what can and cannot be part of their course,” said Jennifer Mitchell, principal. government relations.
Others have expressed concern that it prohibits districts from requiring staff to attend training that “exhibits any form of racial or gender stereotyping or blame on the basis of race or gender.”
Dallas ISD administrators passed a resolution opposing the bill saying it, “threatens the vital work the district does to celebrate diversity and would significantly hamper efforts to create inclusive and equitable learning environments and to develop more informed and engaged citizens. “
But for fans, the early morning shift on Saturday was seen as a huge victory.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (right) issued a statement congratulating the bill’s sponsors. It read in part:
“Texans categorically reject ‘awake’ philosophies that hold that one race or gender is better than another and that someone, because of their race or gender, is inherently racist, oppressive, or sexist.
“These heinous concepts have erupted in our culture in an effort to divide us. Unfortunately, they appear in Texas classrooms, even in elementary schools.
“House Bill 3979 ensures that critical racial philosophies, including the founding myth of 1619, are removed from our school curricula statewide. When parents send their children to school, they want their students to learn critical thinking without being brainwashed by disinformation accusing America and our Constitution are rooted in racism.
The revised bill now returns to the House.
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