On Friday, the Republican controlled, Texas State Senate passed legislation that would “end requirements that public schools include writings on women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement in social studies classes.” SB 3 would strip requirements that students learn white supremacy is “morally wrong,” If enacted into law, the bill drops works from Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King Jr., whose “I Have a Dream”speech and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” from Texas’ public school’s curriculum. It will also bans teaching the Republican’s latest bogeyman, the Critical Race Theory (CRT) in grades K-12.
The bill passed the Senate along party lines, 18 to 4, but now is stalled because the House can’t achieve a quorum while a group of Democrats fled the state to Washington D.C. The special session ends on Aug. 6.
According to Bloomberg Law:
It would remove more than two dozen teaching requirements from a new law (H.B 3979) that bars the teaching of critical race theory, an academic framework exploring racism’s shaping of the country.
That law included a list of historic figures, events and documents required for inclusion in social studies classes. The Senate-passed bill would remove most mentions of people of color and women from those requirements, along with a requirement that students be taught about the history of white supremacy and “the ways in which it is morally wrong.”
The measure also would bar the teaching of the 1619 Project— a New York Times initiative exploring U.S. history starting at the date enslaved people arrived in the English colonies.
The original bill, H.B 3979 had provisions that provided students with a better understanding of “historical documents related to the civic accomplishments of marginalized populations.”
That section included “the Chicano movement,” “women’s suffrage and equal rights,” “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,” Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream” speech, “the history and importance of the women’s suffrage movement,” and “the works of Susan B. Anthony,” among other requirements.
The Senate bill mentions none of these provisions, which ultimately limits how teachers teach and discuss race, women’s suffrage, and equal rights in the classroom.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released the following statement Friday afternoon:
“Texans roundly reject ‘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.
“Senate Bill 3 will make certain that critical race philosophies, including the debunked 1619 founding myth, are removed from our school curriculums statewide. Texas parents do not want their children to be taught these false ideas. Parents 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.
“Final passage of this bill into law will require the House Democrats who have fled the state to return to the House for a quorum. If they do not, this bill will die, but the Senate will pass Senate Bill 3 over and over again until the House finally has a quorum. I am grateful for Sen. Hughes’ leadership on this important issue.”