EMB(LEGAL) - MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUCTIONAL POLICIES: TEACHING ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES
Exemption from Instruction
A parent or person standing in parental relation may remove the parent's child from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent's religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent's child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity.
A parent or person standing in parental relation is not entitled to remove the parent's child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester. This policy does not exempt a child from satisfying grade level or graduation requirements in a manner acceptable to the district and the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Education Code 26.002, .010
Required Social Studies Course Restrictions
The following requirements apply to any social studies course in the required curriculum.
A teacher may not be compelled to discuss a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs.
A teacher who chooses to discuss a topic described above shall, to the best of the teacher's ability, strive to explore the topic from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.
Education Code 28.002(h-3)(1)–(2)
Political Activism and Advocacy Participation
A district or teacher may not require, make part of a course, or award a grade or course credit, including extra credit, for a student's:
- Political activism, lobbying, or efforts to persuade members of the legislative or executive branch at the federal, state, or local level to take specific actions by direct communication; or
- Participation in any internship, practicum, or similar activity involving social or public policy advocacy.
Private Funding for Activism and Advocacy
A district may not accept private funding for the purpose of developing a curriculum, purchasing or selecting curriculum materials, or providing teacher training or professional development for a course described above.
Education Code 28.002(h-3)(3), (h-5)
Training, Orientation, and Therapy
A teacher, administrator, or other employee of a district may not be required to engage in training, orientation, or therapy that presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or blame on the basis of race or sex.
A teacher, administrator, or other employee of a district may not require or make part of a course the concept that:
- One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
- An individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
- An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual's race;
- Members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;
- An individual's moral character, standing, or worth is necessarily determined by the individual's race or sex;
- An individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
- An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual's race or sex;
- Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race;
- The advent of slavery in the territory that is now the United States constituted the true founding of the United States; or
- With respect to their relationship to American values, slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to, the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality.
A teacher, administrator, or other employee of a district may not require an understanding of The 1619 Project.
A district may not implement, interpret, or enforce any rules or student code of conduct in a manner that would result in the punishment of a student for discussing, or have a chilling effect on student discussion of, the concepts described above.
Education Code 28.002(h-3)(4), (h-5)