Texas schools shouldn’t be censored from talking about racism

Texas schools shouldn't be censored from talking about racism

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Recently the Texas Legislature has been pushing a new bill censoring Texas schools and educators from talking about racism, sexism and other current news events. 

This bill is HB 3979. This bill comes into effect for the 2021-22 school year regarding the concepts of critical race theory in Texas education. It originally pushed for teachers to discuss race and current events in their classes. 

However, after hours of debate about how Texas educators can instruct children about the United States’ history of subjugating people of color, the Senate advanced a new version of a controversial bill aimed at banning critical race theory in public and open-enrollment charter schools across the state, much to Democrats’ chagrin.

The bill states no teacher shall be compelled by a policy of any state agency, school district, campus, open-enrollment charter school or school administration to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs.

A school district will not be able to make its teachers talk about current events or controversial issues. Students shouldn’t see history as unrelated dates that have no bearing on the present.

Our history impacts our current issues, so history teachers should have to teach on their relation. But under this bill, teachers cannot be compelled and a student in one history class may get a less enriching education than a student in a different class. 

Unfortunately, this attempt to avoid discussing controversial issues like racism is not new.

Many states, especially in the south, have heavily restricted curricula, making school curriculums Anglo and Eurocentric.

It’s sad to see Texas regressing backward when it comes to public education. It is important to educate younger students on the dangers of systemic and intergenerational racism as it is the only way to move forward. 

Republicans didn’t decide to change the bill with people of color or education in mind. They simply wish to further their idea that America doesn’t need to recognize its faults.

This bill, if signed, will prevent schools from discussing the ways that systems in America uphold racism. This is erasing history and encouraging more students to grow up in ignorance. 

Saira Haque is an anthropology junior who can be reached at [email protected]

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