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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Legislation to Revise Critical Race Theory ‘Ban’ Advances

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Legislation to revise the “ban” on critical race theory that passed the state Legislature earlier this year made it one step closer to the governor’s desk on Thursday, after being approved by the Texas House. 

House Bill 3979 by State Rep. Steve Toth (R–The Woodlands), which was passed during the regular legislative session in May, was intended to equip Texas students with an understanding of the foundation of the United States and self-governance. The bill prevented teachers from utilizing controversial critical race theory, which has come under fire from conservatives as a Marxist ideology.

Though the bill prohibits teaching that one race or sex is inherently superior to another—and bans the use of the controversial 1619 Project, which teaches that the United States was truly founded on the advent of slavery—some additions to the bill raised concerns after passing the House. 

Notably, the bill added the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights and the life and work of Cesar Chavez to the bill’s list of suggested curriculum. Another amendment required teaching the history of the League of Latin American Citizens, a leftist political group that advocates for open borders.

One amendment required the teaching of “the history of white supremacy.”

Though Gov. Greg Abbott signed that bill in June, he added that “more must be done.” To that end, the issue was added to the governor’s special session agenda this summer.

The bill that sought to accomplish that was Senate Bill 3, authored by State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola).

As it passed out of the Senate, SB 3 strengthened portions of the bill that seek to ban certain tenets of critical race theory from the classroom. It also removed the controversial laundry list of curriculum contained in the original legislation approved earlier this year, instead creating a “Civics Training Program”

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