Experts weigh in on proposal to change how slavery is taught in schools

1 year 2 months 3 weeks ago Friday, July 08 2022 Jul 8, 2022 July 08, 2022 5:10 PM July 08, 2022 in News - Local

An initial draft of a second grade social studies curriculum was presented to the Texas Board of Education that suggested slavery be referred to as "involuntary relocation" 

The group of educators responsible for the initial draft are charged with incorporating the topic of slavery to the curriculum while honoring Senate Bill 3 - a law that doesn’t allow slavery to be taught as part of the true founding of the United States

“When I saw that involuntary relocation, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is literally planting the seed of psychological damage to black children which will then become adults and then end up sitting in my office,’” licensed clinical social worker psychotherapist April Dawn Harter said. 

Harter believes SB3 and language like "involuntary relocation" are part of a root issue that could have a detrimental impact on the psychology of young children. 

“Black folks, if their voices are not heard and their stories are not told, then they experience low self-esteem, depression and especially post-traumatic stress disorder,” Harter said.

Roseann Bacha Garza, an anthropology lecturer with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, collects evidence that documents "underground-railroad-like-activity" in Texas. 

“Introducing second-graders to the concept of slavery will give them familiarity with the subject," Garza said. “The concept of repetition and familiarity will help with the retainment of knowledge, and this in turn will also spark thought and inquiry.” 

So far, no decision has been made on the proposed change.

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