As the Texas State Board of Education reviews proposals for the state’s public school social studies curriculum this summer, one request has raised quite a few concerns. A group of teachers has asked that slavery be introduced as “involuntary relocation” to second-grade students. Reports say the group has been urged to rethink its decision.
Yesterday (June 30), Keven Ellis (chair of the Texas State Board of Education) issued a statement saying, “The board — with unanimous consent — directed the work group to revisit that specific language.” The proposal was first heard on June 15. After a board member noted the change would not be a “fair representation” of the slave trade, the suggestion was not approved. “For K-2, carefully examine the language used to describe events, specifically the term ‘involuntary relocation,’” state board members said. Yesterday, Aicha Davis, a Democrat who sits on the board, told The Texas Tribune, “I can’t say what their intention was, but that’s not going to be acceptable.” She added, “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.”
According to the outlet, Senate Bill 3 is part of a Texas law claiming that “slavery can’t be taught as part of the true founding of the United States” because “slavery was nothing more than a deviation from American values.” After catching wind of the proposal, social media users expressed their disbelief. “I am suing if my kids get a textbook calling slavery ‘involuntary relocation’ and I will go bankrupt doing this. You will not rewrite history to benefit your children and demean mine,” one person shared. Another wrote, “This is a horrifying attempt to erase the history of oppression of Black Americans. We must all loudly reject this whitewashing of our history.”