How Texas ‘critical race theory’ bill could impact teachers

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — President Joe Biden signed legislation Thursday establishing a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery, saying he believes it will go down as one of the greatest honors he has as president.

Biden signed into law a bill to make Juneteenth, or June 19, the 12th federal holiday. The House voted 415-14 on Wednesday to send the bill to Biden, while the Senate passed the bill unanimously the day before.

READ MORE: Biden signs bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

It comes just a few days after Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that opponents believe would restrict how Texas teachers educate their students on events with racial and historical significance.

Critical race theory is an approach to teaching that integrates issues of race and racism into conversations about America’s history. That would include how teachers teach about events like Juneteenth.

READ MORE: Texas ‘critical race theory’ bill limiting teaching of current events signed into law

Now, there’s a fight not just in Texas but across the country over what and how students are taught about social justice and inequality and the tools some schools are using to do that.

The new Texas law aims to limit the discussion and requires that if such events like Juneteenth are brought up, teachers are to remain unbiased in their opinions.

Advocates of the bill believe it will ensure that students are taught that all races and genders are equal and Abbott said the bill is a strong move to abolish critical race theory in Texas and adds that more must be done.

Texas State Board of Education member Aiche Davis said she’s disappointed with the passage of the bill, saying it’s important to talk about racism in the classroom.

“It will really negatively affect what we teach [and] the way we shape our history courses in Texas,” said Davis. “The last time was streamlined. A lot of various figures of color and women were excluded.”

The law goes into effect Sept. 1.

Follow Cory McGinnis on Facebook, Twitter.

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