HOUSTON – Texas teachers could not be forced to take sides on any “currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs” and would be limited in how they talk about things like systemic racism and white privilege if a new bill becomes law.
The so-called “Critical Race Theory” bill, passed by the Texas House in early May and by the Texas Senate (with some changes) last weekend, was originally authored by Rep. Steve Toth from The Woodlands.
“Critical Race Theory is just another form of Marxism,” Toth said in an interview.
Toth also said his bill “does not ban discussion of Critical Race Theory.”
The language of the bill has changed over the weeks and may change again this week when the Texas House will decide to either concur with the Senate version or send the bill to the committee to decide on additional changes.
Either way, Toth is “optimistic” the controversial bill, which is opposed by the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers and other teacher’s groups, will be signed into law in the coming days.
“A teacher may not be compelled to discuss a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs,” the current version of the bill states.
Teachers who choose to discuss these things, the bill says, “shall, to the best of the teacher’s ability, strive to explore the topic from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”