The Texas Senate passed a bill that removes two dozen curriculum requirements, including Civil Rights, from the state’s education code.
Senate Bill 3 passed in an 18-4 vote. The bill eliminates Section 28.002 of the state’s education code. Public school teachers will no longer have to teach students about 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.”
The bill is a follow-up to an already passed House bill that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed in May. Among the changes in SB 3 is the removal of a reference to the Ku Klux Klan being “morally wrong” from House Bill 3979, which is set to become law in September.
The bill also cut the study of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Ceasar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony, and Native American history. Teachers will also have to be mindful about classroom discussions — the legislation suggests that educators should not “be compelled” to talk about current events or “controversial issues of public policy or social affairs,” — if they do, they cannot give their personal opinions.
“What we’re doing with this bill, we’re saying that specific reading list doesn’t belong in statute,” Senator Bryan Hughes, the author of the bill, told Bloomberg Law.
Last month, teachers in Texas were banned from teaching children about The 1619 Project.
Not everyone is happy about the new law.
“How could a teacher possibly 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,” Senator Judith Zaffirini said.
Texas has been passing controversial legislation all year. Earlier this month, Democrats walked out of the House and flew to Washington D.C. to protest a restrictive voter suppression bill.