With Texas’ 88th Legislative Session well underway, the Texas Association of School Psychologists released its legislative platform, which called for more social justice legislation.
TASP claims to work toward “school psychologists having a positive impact on school systems to improve academic skills, social-emotional functioning, and mental-behavioral health for all students.”
However, their new legislative platform calls for school psychologists to advance “social justice,” “restorative justice practices,” and “equity.” Although these terms are seemingly innocuous, activists use them to spread critical race theory and push for equal outcomes over equal opportunities.
“School psychologists work to ensure the protection of the educational rights, opportunities, and well-being of all children, especially those whose voices have been muted, identities obscured, or needs ignored,” the organization wrote. “Social justice requires promoting non-discriminatory practices and the empowerment of families and communities. School psychologists enact social justice through culturally-responsive professional practice and advocacy to create schools, communities, and systems that ensure equity and fairness for all children and youth.”
TASP’s legislative platform supports requiring all Texas school districts to adopt a social-emotional learning curriculum and adding SEL benchmarks to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills—the state’s legally mandated education standards. Although educators claim that the goal of SEL is to help students manage their emotions, several school districts that have implemented this teaching have come under fire for subjecting children to personally invasive quizzes and activities.
The school psychologist association also encourages lawmakers to support more funding for educator professional development on implicit bias and restorative justice practices.
Critical race theory is not the only controversial ideology TASP supports.
Although the group states that they want to improve the lives of Texas children, they promise to promote radical gender ideology throughout the state. In 2014, TASP adopted the National Association of School Psychologists’ “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth” position statement. The document claims that “specific intervention efforts are needed to create safe and supportive schools for LGBTQ youth.”
To create these “safe spaces,” the association called for schools to educate students and staff about LGBT issues through professional development about the “range of normal human diversity that includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”
The statement also encouraged school psychologists to remember that “sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression encompass a broad spectrum, and that many students question their sexual orientation and gender identity or are gender nonconforming.”
Despite TASP encouraging lawmakers to endorse controversial ideologies, lawmakers have filed multiple pieces of legislation filed in the Texas Senate and House that would cement parents’ rights and protect children from inappropriate content.