Posted by on July 1, 2022 2:16 pm
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Texas rejects proposal to refer to slavery as ‘involuntary relocation’ in schools

FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2019 file photo, a large Texas flag hangs from the Texas State Capitol as workers prepare the grounds for inauguration ceremonies in Austin, Texas. On Friday, May 10, 2019, The Associated Press has found that stories circulating on the internet that a proposed Texas Senate prohibits drivers from transporting groups of “elderly, disabled or poor” to the polls to vote, are untrue. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) Eric Gay/AP

Texas rejects proposal to refer to slavery as ‘involuntary relocation’ in schools

Cami Mondeaux July 01, 02:02 PMJuly 01, 02:02 PM Video Embed

The Texas State Board of Education shot down a proposal from a group of educators that suggested schools should refer to slavery as “involuntary relocation” in its curricula.

Some board members raised concerns about the suggested wording during a 12-hour meeting on June 15, arguing it does not offer a “fair representation” of the slave trade. The board then sent the drafted proposal back to the group for further revisions.

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“As documented in the meeting minutes, the SBOE provided feedback in the meeting indicating that the working group needed to change the language related to ‘involuntary relocation,’” the board said in a statement. “Any assertion that the SBOE is considering downplaying the role of slavery in American history is completely inaccurate.”

The proposal was presented as the education board works to update its required social studies curricula for state schools, a process that occurs about once every decade. Slavery is not currently taught in the second grade in Texas, and the state has stringent laws on how it must be taught in classrooms.

Under state law, Texas teachers are prohibited from asserting slavery was foundational to the formation of the United States and must teach it was nothing more than a deviation from the country’s principles. As a result, the group of educators suggested that second-grade classrooms “compare journeys to America, including voluntary Irish immigration and involuntary relocation of African people during colonial times.”

The group was reportedly given a copy of the law, labeled S.B. 3, before drafting the legislation, prompting some board members to believe that is what influenced the draft’s language.

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“I can’t say what their intention was, but that’s not going to be acceptable,” Aicha Davis, a Democrat on the state board, told the Texas Tribune. “They were given Senate Bill 3, so that had to have influenced their mind with that being a document given to them right before they had to perform this review.”

The suggestion comes before the board is set to hold a final vote in November on what social studies curricula to implement in public schools over the next decade. The changes come in response to recent policies passed by lawmakers instructing schools to remove subject matter that makes students “feel discomfort.”

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