OPINION: Hey lawmakers, stay away from our kids’ curriculum


Illustration by Mattheau Faught/The Et Cetera

At the beginning of September, 666 new laws went into effect in Texas. One of these was House Bill 3979 which states “Teachers will be limited from discussing current events and systematic racism in class.” The bill also prevents students from receiving credit from participating in civic engagement and bans the 1619 Project.

The 1619 Project is an essay written by Nikole Hannah-Jones to bring awareness to African American suffering and the consequences of slavery. Through HB 3979, the system is taking out elements that are key to our education.

We should not be modifying anything in our curriculum because every piece of information is important. It helps us learn from our mistakes and be well-informed citizens for the future.

Our schools should not shy away from our history. Every kid has the right to know our country’s past, and the effect it has had on current events. From there we are able to form our opinions and take stances on topics we are passionate about.

How will the younger generations know who to entrust their votes to? It’s good that the students should learn everything in our country’s past so we can break cycles of ignorance.

School is designed in order for the students to learn basic skills, strengthen them and through them develop interests that will hopefully lead to potential career opportunities.

Our education should be our stepping stone to a brighter future instead of another obstacle, like the one found in HB 3979.

I attended Lakeview Centennial High School in Garland, and I was lucky enough to have multiple class options for different career paths. One of those was our law/government magnet program.

I attended this school precisely because the variety of programs would help me earn plenty of credits and get ahead. I am a first generation college student after all.

Students take pride in their education and will go to any lengths to get ahead. It is not fair that these choices are being taken from us. Decisions such as what classes to take or what interests to develop help our generation start thinking about what our future should be.

The United States Department of Education only wants us to see the successes of our country, but not the ugly parts that can help us become stronger. We need to see these ugly parts of history so we can make a serious change.

— Jamie Salgado is a contributor and an art major