Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Tuesday a bill that outlines how schools in the state should teach students about race and racism and prohibits the teaching of what has become known as critical race theory.
While the measure, House Bill 3979, does not specifically mention critical race theory, it mandates how the State Board of Education should frame its curriculum on history and takes effect on September 1.
According to the new law, educators should not teach that “an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual ’s race or sex.” In addition, the legislation states schools cannot “require an understanding of The 1619 Project” and prevents schools from teaching that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”
The legislation does provide, however, a list of acceptable works that can be relayed in the classrooms, such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and his “I Have a Dream” speech.
The bill also requires students be taught the “history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong.”
Abbott’s signing of the bill comes as several GOP-led states move to ban the teaching of critical race theory in classrooms across the nation.
Last week, the Florida Board of Education approved a proposal which outlines the teaching of American history, banning critical race theory from being taught in classrooms across the Sunshine State.