Every morning, schoolchildren in Texas recite an oath to their state that includes the words, “I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God.”
Now, a flurry of proposed measures that could soon become law would promote even greater loyalty to Texas in the state’s classrooms and public spaces, as Republican lawmakers try to reframe Texas history lessons and play down references to slavery and anti-Mexican discrimination that are part of the state’s founding.
The proposals in Texas, a state that influences school curriculums around the country through its huge textbook market, amount to some of the most aggressive efforts to control the teaching of American history. And they come as nearly a dozen other Republican-led states seek to ban or limit how the role of slavery and pervasive effects of racism can be taught.
Idaho was the first state to sign into law a measure that would withhold funding from schools that teach such lessons. And lawmakers in Louisiana, New Hampshire and Tennessee have introduced bills that would ban teaching about the enduring legacies of slavery and segregationist laws, or that any state or the country is inherently racist or sexist.