The State Board of Education is under fire from statewide officials as they consider a proposal to remove “hero” from the description of the Alamo defenders in Texas’ seventh-grade history curriculum.
The change was proposed by the social studies work group, a committee of approximately 100 historians and teachers appointed by the SBOE, who met to review the current history curriculum and suggest changes. Among the most eye-catching of the proposals is the elimination of the phrase “all the heroic defenders who gave their lives” from the curriculum requirements.
The work group has also proposed eliminating from the curriculum the Travis letter, the famous missive in which Lt. Col. William B. Travis called on “the people of Texas and all Americans in the world” to come to his aid as the enemy began to surround the Alamo.
The proposed changes, which have been condemned by concerned grassroots citizens, received a rebuke from Gov. Greg Abbott, who tweeted “Stop political correctness in our schools. Of course Texas schoolchildren should be taught that Alamo defenders were ‘Heroic’! I fully expect the State Board of Education to agree. Contact your SBOE Member to complain.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also weighed in, saying “It’s time to draw a line in the sand on political correctness in our schools.”
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, whose office oversees management of the Alamo, also echoed those statements, calling it “politically correct nonsense,” adding that he believes the letter and the actions of the defenders “must remain at the very core of Texas history teaching.”
Board Chairman Donna Bahorich stated that while she appreciates the work that the workgroup performed in “streamlining” the standards, she does not support removing the Travis letter from the curriculum.
Public testimony is taking place during the SBOE’s regular meeting in Austin on Tuesday. However the board will not vote on the new curriculum standards until November.
Concerned Texans can review the new proposed standards here and contact their SBOE member to make their voices heard.