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Keep Your Hands Off My Lesson Plans!

In late October of 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement of criticism towards several school districts across the state. Before doing so, the Texas Governor had been quite vocal for some time about the “dangers” of teaching Critical Race Theory in public schools. As a direct result of this, he approved a sixteen-page list of books that are to be banned throughout the Texas public education system. While several of the novels are about race, racism, colorism, and colonialism, Texans noticed that there were quite a few novels that centered around LGBTQ topics relating to gender and sexuality.

While none of the novels on the list are sexually explicit, Governor Abbott refers to these novels (but no specific one) as “pornographic” in a letter to the Texas School Board that shows his obvious support of Texas Law Maker Matt Kraus, who is the original author of the sixteen-page document. This, of course, goes back to House Bill 3979, which prohibits educators from teaching anything that could make students feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other psychological distress on account of the individual’s race or sex.” Most of us know this to be complete nonsense – it is worded in such a way that ultimately gains republican and libertarian support. Parents, specifically white parents, in Texas were mostly in support of this bill because they don’t want their kids to go to school thinking that they are inherently evil; however, it is a particularly important lesson to be taught.

I would understand not wanting any kid to feel discomfort or guilt; however, this simply doesn’t apply to every kid. When thinking to yourself, “well I don’t want my white child to go to school uncomfortable or upset about something beyond their control,” I challenge you to place that statement on any child of color, but specifically, black children here in the South. I challenge you to put the children who are gay, lesbian, queer (and all terms that are encompassed under that), or trans in the same narrative of your straight, cis child. The issue here is that you can’t. Every day, these children go to school, not only uncomfortable but scared of the repercussions that come along with being something other than white, cis, and straight. If these children are able to sit through all of that and still come out of the public education system relatively okay, then I think your straight white child will be okay sitting through a fifty-minute history class that teaches them about the damaging effects that racism and homophobia.

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//Black Lives Matter//Gemini Sun//Aries Moon//Sagittarius Rising//English Major//
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