|George Hughes lynching - Sherman, Texas - 1930
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History/University of Texas at Austin
I am sure you all read the news about the school board in Texas that was instructed to present the pros and cons of the holocaust. House Bill 3979, a new Texas law, requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing “widely debated and currently controversial” issues. Teachers couldn't find a lot of good things to say about the nazis and complained.
The author of the Senate companion bill says that it is merely a misunderstanding.
State Sen. Bryan Hughes, an East Texas Republican who wrote Senate Bill 3, denied that the law requires teachers to provide opposing views on what he called matters of “good and evil” or to get rid of books that offer only one perspective on the Holocaust. But if you read the bill, that is exactly what he has done.
These bills are designed to whitewash any mention of slavery or bigotry or sexual discrimination or subject students to any studies that might make them feel uncomfortable or "icky" about our country's history.
|Book burning in Opera Square, Berlin, May 10, 1933. Photo: US Holocaust Memorial Museum/National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD
A Texas state lawmaker is asking schools statewide to tell him whether they currently hold any of around 850 books on a list he has compiled, explaining that he is targeting materials that "might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex."The inquiry by state Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican, quickly set off alarm among the books' authors and the state teachers association. The unusual request, which was first reported by the Texas Tribune, also triggered confusion in school districts over how to comply with such a wide-ranging query.