A group of educators recently suggested to the Texas State Board of Education that slavery be taught as “involuntary relocation” in the second-grade curriculum. A designated work group for the Texas State Board of Education put together the proposal, according to the Texas Tribune.
The group was asked to add the topic of slavery into the second-grade curriculum while at the same time taking into consideration new Texas legislation, Senate Bill 3, which was signed into law in 2021. The law states how slavery and race-related topics should be taught in Texas Public Schools, adding that slavery should not be referenced as part of the founding of the U.S.
“Here we go with another attempt to whitewash the truth,” Jackie Anderson, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, told ABC13. “There is no way that slavery could actually be called involuntary relocation and get the same meaning as what true slavery is.”
“I’m sure that they were trying to work in the confines of the law, but then there’s something wrong with the law that would require someone to do that in the first place,” Anderson added.
The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) has asked the workgroup to change its proposal. “In our last meeting, the work group provided the SBOE with a draft of their recommendations and the Board had specific concerns with some of their proposed language, particularly the phrase ‘involuntary relocation.’ The Board-with unanimous consent-directed the workgroup to revisit that specific language,” Kevin Ellis, the board chair, said in a statement.
The Texas Education Agency has said that any assertion that the SBOE is downplaying the role of slavery in American history is completely inaccurate.
Still, people are concerned. Corin Reyes, a mom of two and the Director of Health Equity for YWCA San Antonio, a nonprofit organization that works to eliminate racism, said she was “disappointed”.
“I don’t sugarcoat things with my kids, I want them to know the truth and know that they’re mature enough to handle the truth in a way that’s age appropriate.”
She continued that the only way to move forward is “if we all have honest conversations and that starts with our children.”
The Texas State Board of Education is expected to vote on a new curriculum in November.