In late June, Governor Abbott signed into law HB 3979 that "restricts how current events and America’s history of racism can be taught in Texas schools." The governor has prioritized both a further expansion of undemocratic censorship and voter suppression during the Special Session that began last Thursday.
The information in this email will help you talk to your state representatives and senators in Austin or in emails or calls you make this month. You can easily access their contact information at https://www.texastribune.org/directory/. If you are interested in speaking at a Senate or House hearing in person, email [email protected] and we will connect you.
The Texas Tribune reports that "SB 3, filed by state Sen. Hughes last Friday, strips out most mentions of women and people of color from social studies curriculum — more than two dozen requirements that include Native American history, work by civil rights activists Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, historical documents related to the Chicano movement and women’s suffrage, and writings by Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass."
It also removes the requirement to teach “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.” Here is the full bill.
Orlando Lara, CVPE member and ethnic studies advocate states that "SB 3 and HB 3979 are part of a national effort to limit discussions of race, gender, and diversity in the classroom and to re-center outdated notions of history that exclude more difficult conversations around the role of slavery and racism in the history of Texas and the United States, versions of history that alienate students of color and lead them to feel like they are being lied to by omission in school." Roughly 20 states have introduced or planned similar bills.
Meanwhile, "the two national teachers’ unions are vowing to defend their members against any backlash over how they teach about the nation’s complicated history with race and racism."
"Both unions have presented a single underlying message: Teachers must be honest about racial injustices so that students learn to think critically about how the country’s problematic past has shaped its present. Any efforts to restrict those conversations in the classroom, the unions say, are akin to censorship." Read more at
Ibram Kendi, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, writes that "The United States is not in the midst of a “culture war” over race and racism. The animating force of our current conflict is not our differing values, beliefs, moral codes, or practices. The American people aren’t divided. The American people are being divided."
You can read the entire article in The Atlantic to get a deeper understanding of how the forces on the Right are trying to divide the nation at-