The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Texas curriculum revision causes turmoil

When I think about Thomas Jefferson, I think of the Declaration of Independence. When I think about the battle of the Alamo, I think of Hispanics as well as Americans. And when I think about the United States’ government, I think of a democracy, not a republic. However, millions of the United States’ students are going to stop learning about the importance of Jefferson, will not know that there were Hispanics that died alongside Davey Crockett at the Alamo, and will learn that America is “constitutional republic,” not a democracy.

On March 5, Texas’ Board of Education voted for a new curriculum. The vote was passed, with 10 Republican votes and five Democratic votes. According to the Washington Post, the changes are going to be open for debate for 30 days. The board has made more than 100 amendments to their curriculum since January 2010.

Jefferson is being cut out of the textbook because conservatives associate him with the separation of church and state. The board wants children to learn that there is almost no separation between the two, because they believe the church and government should be connected.

Instead, students will learn about John Calvin, a religious icon. Calvin is most known for his book, “Institutes of the Christian Religion.” Calvin wrote about God’s connection to human life, and God’s plan for mankind. He never even stepped foot on American soil.

According to The New York Times, the changes also include information about the “conservative resurgence.” This resurgence embraces the establishment of the National Rifle Association and the Moral Majority, an evangelical Christian oriented way of political lobbying.

Sex and gender as social constructs have been struck from the curriculum so that students are not exposed to transvestites or transsexuals.

These changes will not only affect Texan students; they will become a national issue. According to The New York Times, Texas is one of the biggest textbook buyers in the United States. Therefore, the book Texas buys goes down in price and other states get a cheaper sale. Other states then buy the same book.

Besides just being different than previous generations, the information will also be incorrect. The Board of Education is ignoring major historical events and people that made religious and personal freedom possible.

Without the separation of the church and state, we may all be restricted to believing in one denomination. Democracies allow people to raise their concerns and speak their opinions. A person’s sexuality should not be judged at all, but it should be acknowledged and embraced. Freedom is essential to America.

Everyone is allowed an opinion, and Conservatives and Democrats can differ in ideas. Teaching different beliefs or different views of the past is necessary. However, one group of people has no right to change what children learn.

The changes will only teach students bits and pieces of what actually happened. History will be perceived differently by certain age groups within our own culture, and eventually, the truth may be lost.

Start petitions, hold rallies, call Board members every day. Write a letter, call a senator, band teachers together. Do anything. The changes will be finalized in May unless there is enough opposition to sway the votes.

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