This past Saturday, the Senate of the state of Texas passed a bill that banned all state schools from mandating the teaching of critical race theory.
The bill, known as House Bill 3979, passed through the Texas House of Representatives back on May 11 and will be quickly headed to the desk of Greg Abbott, the Republican Governor of Texas, after the lower chamber gives its approval to the Senate’s changes to the legislation, as reported by KXAN.
According to the text of the bill, it sets its focus on how important it is to learn about the founding of the U.S. by making reference to original documents like the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the Declaration of Independence.
It goes on to state that no teacher will be forced by any state agency or school admin “to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs,” and then goes on further to add that when a teacher chooses to talk about these topics, they “shall, to the best of their ability, strive to explore such issues from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to anyone perspective[.]”
though the bill itself does not directly name critical race theory, it does explicitly state that it forbids teaching that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” or that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,” along with the idea that work ethic and meritocracy “are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.”
“Last nite [sic] & into the morning, Texas Senate debated #CriticalRaceTheory,” stated Bryan Hughes, Republican state Senator, this past Saturday. “We must teach the truth about our history, & judge others based on the content of character & not the color of skin.”
Last nite & into the morning, Texas Senate debated #CriticalRaceTheory.
We must teach the truth about our history, & judge others based on the content of character & not the color of skin.
Honored to pass #HB3979 on behalf of Sen. @CreightonForTX. #txlege @Toth_4_Texas pic.twitter.com/ojPEXqR0lt
— Senator Bryan Hughes (@SenBryanHughes) May 22, 2021
Dan Patrick, the Republican Lt. Governor of Texas, also sung the praises of the bill by stating, “House Bill 3979 makes certain that critical race philosophies, including the 1619 founding myth, are removed from our school curriculums statewide. When parents send their children to school, they want their students to learn critical thinking without being indoctrinated with misinformation charging that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism.”
“Texans roundly reject the ‘woke’ philosophies that espouse that one race or sex is better than another and that someone, by virtue of their race or sex, is innately racist, oppressive or sexist,” he continued on.
“Educators opposed to the bill say kids seek out clarity on current events from instructors, who they view as a trusted source of information, and if passed, would stop teachers from pushing their students to think critically about the world,” reported KXAN.
“Just the fear of that alone is going to prevent teachers from really delving into a lot of these topics,” Meghan Dougherty, the Round Rock ISD Instructional Coach, stated to the outlet. “It’s not that teachers are trying to indoctrinate students, it’s that they are trying to help students understand these issues, help them understand the different perspectives and facilitate positive, productive conversations in the classroom around these issues.”