Texas Board of Education Gets Proposal to Call Slavery ‘Involuntary Relocation’

Texas Board Education
Texas Board Education

Under new social studies standards proposed to the state’s education board, second-graders in public schools in Texas would learn that slavery was a form of “forced relocation.”

The Texas Tribune says that nine teachers brought the idea to the State Board of Education as part of the state’s efforts to make new social studies lessons. The process happens every 10 years and changes what kids learn in the nearly 8,900 public schools in the state.

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“The board — with unanimous consent — directed the work group to revisit that specific language,” Keven Ellis, chair of the Texas State Board of Education, said in a statement, according to the Tribune.

A Proposal To Call Slavery “Involuntary Relocation” Has Been Made To Texas Board of Education

Aicha Davis, a Democrat who represents Dallas and Fort Worth on the board, said at a meeting on June 15 that the term didn’t do the slave trade justice. The board sent the draft back to be changed and asked the group of teachers to “carefully look at the words used to describe events.”

Texas Board Education
Texas Board Education

Davis told The Texas Tribune on Thursday, “I don’t know what their goal was, but that’s not going to be okay.”

The Texas Tribune got a copy of a proposed draft of the standards, which says that students should “compare journeys to America, such as the voluntary immigration of Irish people and the forced relocation of African people during colonial times.”

A year after Texas passed a law to get rid of “uncomfortable” topics from schools, the board is thinking about making changes to the curriculum.

In recent years, the state’s public education system has become very political. Lawmakers have passed laws that tell schools how to teach about race and slavery, and conservative groups have spent a lot of money on school board races.

In 2015, a student in Texas noticed that a textbook said that slaves who were brought to America were “workers.” This got a lot of attention. The book’s publisher apologized and said it would use more people to review textbooks.

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