The Texas State Board of Education has rejected a proposal from a group of educators that suggested replacing the word “slavery” with “involuntary relocation” in second grade classes.
First reported by the Texas Tribune, the proposal was introduced at the board’s June 15 meeting.
“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 Texas Education Agency said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Any assertion that the SBOE is considering downplaying the role of slavery in American history is completely inaccurate.”
Keven Ellis, chair of the Texas State Board of Education, said the committee’s initial draft included a section titled: ‘Enslaved Peoples in America,’ which was introduced last month.
Slavery is not currently taught in the second grade in Texas, and the state has strict laws detailing how it must be taught in classrooms.
Ellis said in a statement to KXAN: “While the proposed standards clearly described enslaved peoples in colonial times, the draft description ‘involuntary relocation’ for African peoples who were sold into slavery did not paint a clear or full picture. As a result, the SBOE voted unanimously to send the language back to be reworked. This board is committed to the truth, which includes accurate descriptions of historical events. Our state’s curriculum will not downplay the role of slavery in American history.”
Democrat board member Aicha Davis shared a clip of the meeting on Facebook, in which Davis said she was “not OK with” the proposal “at all.”
“I can’t say what their intention was, but that’s not going to be acceptable,” Davis 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.”
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