Texas educators are pushing to remove the word “slavery” from elementary school curriculums and exchanging the word with the term “involuntary relocation,” Radar has learned.
The surprising proposal was reportedly made to the Texas State Board of Education by a group of nine educators from throughout Texas, according to the Texas Tribune.
But while the nine educators suggested – along with a number of other curriculum changes – to drop the word “slavery” and replace it with the term “involuntary relocation,” the BOE reportedly rejected the proposal and directed the nine group members to revisit the idea.
“The board – with unanimous consent – directed the work group to revisit that specific language,” Texas State Board of Education chair Keven Ellis revealed on Thursday.
Aicha Davis, a Democrat and and Texas BOE member representing Dallas and Fort Worth, argued that the proposed language change was not a “fair representation” of the slave trade and might hinder young students’ knowledge of the important, albeit sensitive, subject.
“For K-2, carefully examine the language used to describe events, specifically the term ‘involuntary relocation,’” the board wrote in response to proposed change.
“I can’t say what their intention was, but that’s not going to be acceptable,” Davis also told the Texas news outlet on Thursday.
“They were given Senate Bill 3, so that had to have influenced their mind with that being a document given to them right before they had to perform this review,” he added, referring to the Senate bill that dictates how slavery and other sensitive issues of race are to be taught in the state.
One history professor from Harvard University, Annette Gordon-Reed, also criticized the proposal to replace the word “slavery” with the term “involuntary relocation” because it would distort what actually took place during that time in American history.
“Young kids can grasp the concept of slavery and being kidnapped into it,” Gordon-Reed explained. “The African slave trade is unlike anything that had or has happened, the numbers and distance.”
“Tell children the truth,” she added. “They can handle it.”
Although the Texas Board of Education heard the proposal last week, along with a number of other curriculum change proposals, they will reportedly not be making any final votes on the proposed changes until November.