The Texas Senate on Friday passed legislation that would end requirements that public schools include writings on women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement in social studies classes.
Among the figures whose works would be dropped: Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King Jr.
It would remove more than two dozen teaching requirements from a new law that bars the teaching of critical race theory, an academic framework exploring racism’s shaping of the country.
The 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.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who presides over the Senate, said in a statement after the vote that “Senate Bill 3 will make certain that critical race philosophies including the debunked 1619 founding myth, are removed from our school curriculums statewide. 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.”
“What we’re doing with this bill, we’re saying that specific reading list doesn’t belong in statute,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Bryan Hughes (R).
The bill would prohibit teachers from being compelled to talk about current events or controversial issues, instructing those choosing to engage with students to discuss without “giving deference to any one perspective.”
Speaking on the chamber floor, state Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D) said the legislation amounts to “tying the hands of our teachers.”
“How could a teacher possibly discuss slavery, the Holocaust, or the mass shootings at the Walmart in El Paso or at the Sutherland Springs church in my district without giving deference to any one perspective?,” she said.