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Teacher Restrictions in Texas - A Threat to Education and Democracy?

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In June 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill (HB 3979) that restricts what teachers can do in public school classrooms. 

  • Teachers can no longer be required to participate in training about race or sex stereotyping.
  • Teachers can longer promote the idea that racism or sexism in America is, or has ever been, systemic. 
  • It requires teachers who discuss current events to “explore the topic from contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.” 
  • It prohibits schools from giving academic credit for student’s “political activism, lobbying, or efforts to persuade members of the legislature or executive branch at the federal, state, or local level to take specific actions by direct communication.”

These guests join host Ken Futernick in a conversation about the effects this law (and similar ones in other states) will have on student learning and democracy:

  • Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent, Dallas Independent School District
  • Mary Gonzalez, Representative of the Texas State Legislature, representing House District 12
  • Lakeisha Patterson, 3rd grade teacher, Deepwater Elementary School near Houston 
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