Texas HB 3949

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Suddenly, the same Texan politicians who railed against the removal of confederate statues saying that liberals were trying to “erase history” and swearing that the reason they should stay in place was for us to “learn from our mistakes” are now wanting to make sure that white people are not made to feel uncomfortable when confronted with America’s checkered racial past.

As an educator, I must say this: how much more can we endure?

In the past few years, we have been told that it is our job to protect kids from school shooters. We attend traumatic trainings that try to “acclimate” us to the sounds of gunfire, so that in the very probable event of a school shooter situation, we will not freeze up or confuse the sounds we hear. We need every second to hide your children from the shooter. Our only recourse is to hide in the dark behind the door, holding a trash can or stapler in our hand to protect your kids.

We did that.

We attended trainings where we learn how to stuff fabric into fake bodies should your kid or a coworker (or even our own person) be shot.

We did that.

We suffered pay cuts and were gaslighted that it was wrong to want to be paid for our expertise in our fields.

We did that.

We were told we had to show up in person and teach during a deadly pandemic where more than 600,000 Americans had lost their lives, because our job is so much more than just teaching kids to read.

We did that.

Now, we are being told that to bring up race, or slavery, or sexism, or gender in the classroom will be against the law and punishable in some way (that hasn’t been decided yet). They are painting Critical Race Theory as the Boogyman…and further painting teachers as people who cannot be trusted to teach your kids the right thing.

I cannot with this.

Critical Race Theory is nothing in which we (re: white people) should be afraid. I would need an entire post to define it, and in actuality entire books have been written about it.

Here are some ways Critical Race Theory is discussed in the ELA classroom.

How do I teach To Kill a Mockingbird without discussing Jim Crow? I’m not supposed to talk about that, you see, because a white person might feel uncomfortable.

How do I teach A Raisin in the Sun without discussing Red Lining?

How do I teach Hamilton without the discussion of slavery? It’s impossible.

How do I teach even something as fluffy as Cobra Kai without discussing racial dynamics?

How?

How do I teach any novel featuring a person of color without these discussions?

How do I teach any novel featuring a strong female protagonist that has any sort of power struggle with sexism or gender roles?

https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/05/22/texas-senate-approves-bill-limiting-how-race-racism-can-taught/5217696001/

This bill is too long to cover in one blog post. Please see my TikToks if you want further information or to learn more.

@tinamachelle

HB 3979 has been signed by Abbot. Part 2 of what’s wrong with it. #1619projectrealamericanhistory #1619 #HB3979 #texas #texasteachers

♬ original sound – Tina Machelle

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