A group of Texas educators have proposed using the term « involuntary removal » to describe those sold into slavery in the K-2 program
The proposed sentence was part of the original draft outlining a review committee’s sophomore standards that included a section titled « Enslaved Peoples in America. »
“The board — with unanimous consent — directed the task force to review this specific language,” Keven Ellis, president of the Texas State Board of Education, said in a statement.
In the meantime, the board will continue to work on the program later this summer, according to Aicha Davis, a member of the State Board of Education who represents parts of Dallas and Tarrant counties.
« I find it hard to see how it’s acceptable to substitute the phrase ‘slave trade’ for the phrase ‘involuntary relocation,' » Davis told CNN.
“We received a 24-page document with recommendations from a task force that looked at K-2,” Davis continued. « And in Year 2 standards, that’s when I found out they were offering that we talk about their trip using the phrase ‘involuntary move’. »
According to Davis, there have been discussions from the Texas Education Agency about « why they chose this language ».
“They wanted to make sure they introduced slavery at a younger grade level, but they wanted to make sure they were intentionally age-conscious,” Davis said.
Davis added that while she understands the age element in this case, it is crucial that students learn the truth about American history.
« We need to think of appropriate ways to discuss this that don’t diminish what happened during the slave trade, » she noted.
« How do we continue to put more of these types of stories into our social studies classes, and how do we make sure our younger students have access to it, and it’s age-appropriate, but at the same time , it creates a base of truthful knowledge that our students really, really deserve to know.”
School curriculum won’t hide slavery, board chair says
« (The bill) specifically says you can’t make a student uncomfortable, and so they got a copy of that law while they were doing the exam and many of the products we got It seems to be a reflection of some of the things that were in that law,” Davis explained.
Ellis, the chairman of the board, reaffirmed to CNN that students will learn the true history of slavery.
« There was and is no proposal by the State Board of Education that would in any way attempt to hide the truth from Texas sophomores about slavery. »
He reiterated that the term « involuntary resettlement » does not « paint a clear or complete picture » of Africans who have been enslaved.
« As a result, the (board) voted unanimously to return the language for rework. This board is committed to truth, which includes accurate descriptions of historical events.
« Our state’s agenda will not minimize the role of slavery in American history, » he added.
The subject of slavery is not currently covered in the second-grade curriculum, Ellis noted.
“This work is intended to fill that gap. And it is important to reiterate that the (council) has the final say on the draft text produced by one of the working groups,” he said.