RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — The Texas House gave secondary approval on Tuesday in a vote of 79-65 after voting in a preliminary that same morning on the legislation that focuses on critical race theory.
If passed, the bill would limit how schools teach students about current events and race. One of the authors of the legislation as well as educators and brings us how this bill could impact students.
Representative Steve Toth, who helped author House Bill (HB) 3979, says students learning about critical race theory is not helping bring harmony and instead is tearing us apart.
“It’s incredible how this thing is spreading like a cancer right now in our schools,” Toth stated. “Some of the thought leaders behind critical race theory in the demands and beliefs that all white people are racist.”
Although people have a different definition of what critical race theory is, he says his definition is one of the reasons why making this bill was so important.
“It targets the whole idea of defining people by their color or their race,” said Toth. “That’s what this thing is against. It says you can’t do that.”
However, a retired Harlingen CISD teacher, George Mcshan says he doesn’t see the bill that way.
“Teachers don’t have a voice in this, it’s parents out there who want to make sure that their children get one side of the story,” said George Mcshan.
But Toth says HB 3979 doesn’t take away teachers’ voices.
“H-3 subtext 2 says teachers who choose to discuss topics described by subdivision one shall to the best of the teacher’s ability strive to explore those topics from a diverse and contending perspective without giving deference to any one perspective,” said Toth.
Current social studies teacher Mario Garcia says the bill crosses the line and that this would be a huge step back from learning from the past.
“I was very happy with some of the things that were happening, new courses here in Texas with respect to Mexican American studies, with respect to African American students, then we have this, I respectfully do not agree,” said Garcia.
Discussion over the bill will continue as it now heads to the Senate to be voted on.