Texas Governor Erupts After Proposal To Change the Way the Alamo Is Taught
If you want to transform a society — start with the children. Teach them at an early age what you want society to be like in the future and they will make it so.
The left and conservatives have been in a virtual war for the minds of our youth for decades and now some Texans are fighting to keep the valor and heroism of one of their greatest historical battles at the forefront of history in school curriculums in their state.
In the never ending shifting of curriculum standards, state school boards struggle to jam pack content into daily lesson plans for K-12 courses of study. However Texans are conflicted as how to teach their students to remember the Alamo.
The Dallas News reported the struggle between the Texas State Board of Education and conservatives who want to keep heroism alive in the minds of Texas youths.
“A panel advising the State Board of Education on what seventh-graders should learn in their social studies courses has urged deleting the label “heroic” from a curriculum standard about the Alamo’s defenders.”
The word was value charged, in their opinion.
Why yes it is, and Texans — who are proud of their state heritage and values — are up in arms over this suggestion.
Barbara Stevens, president of Daughters of the Republic of Texas feels the word “heroic” is “critical” in teaching children the values of the soldiers who fought and died at the Alamo.
“Words like ‘heroic’ to describe such men are indeed ‘value charged,’ and it is because anything less would be a disservice to their memories. To minimize the study of the Republic of Texas is to fail to teach a pivotal portion of the state’s history,” she said.
Governor Greg Abbott has declared war on political correctness as the TSBOE tries to diminish the heroism of those brave soldiers who fought and died trying to protect the Alamo. He tweeted out a call for Texans to make their voices heard on this issue.
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. @TXSBOE #txlege #tcot https://t.co/Ph9oBoBzKF
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 6, 2018
In addition to removing heroism from the description, the advisory panel advised removing the Tavis Letter, or the “Victory or Death” letter from the curriculum as well.
“The advisory committee, made up of educators and historians, also suggested removing the requirement that students explain ‘the Travis Letter,’ sometimes referred to as the ‘Victory or Death’ letter. It was written by Lt. Col. William Barrett Travis during the Alamo battle. In it, he declared, ‘I shall never surrender or retreat’ from the thousand or more Mexican soldiers besieging the Alamo.
‘I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country — victory or death,’ Travis wrote in 1836.”
The argument made by the advisory panel is that teachers can explain the context of the battle instead of requiring separate discussions of the details of the letter.
Texans are a proud people and the governor wasn’t the only one to speak in defense of not diminishing history.
This politically correct nonsense is why I’ll always fight to honor the Alamo defenders’ sacrifice. His letter & the defenders’ actions must remain at the very core of TX history teaching. This is not debatable to me. https://t.co/4QADkAIZIt
— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) September 6, 2018
State Board of Education Chair Donna Bahorich made this diplomatic statement on Twitter.
Our @TXSBOE work committees have done an EXCELLENT job of streamlining TX social studies standards, however, I do not support deleting one of the most iconic letters in US History for 7th grade. #HeroesAll #txed #RememberTheAlamo https://t.co/E3LunswCrQ
— Donna Bahorich-TXSBOE Dist 6 (@donnabahorich) September 7, 2018
In September of 2017 The Washington Post published a piece by Andrew Hartman, and he made an excellent point about how the public education is in a battle for the upper hand in the culture war.
“These curriculum controversies are not new. At their core is a debate over power and hierarchy in U.S. society. Those individuals and viewpoints that are valued in school curriculums have a decided advantage when it comes to making claims of moral authority. If American children, for example, grow up learning that evolutionary biology is the key to understanding human origins, creationist Americans will have a much more difficult time getting a hearing for their views and will thus lack moral authority in the important realm of science. Yet while curriculum battles shape and are shaped by the nation’s larger cultural wars, they also threaten to undermine a pillar of American democracy that should concern both sides: public education.”
“Heroism” is worth fighting for. It’s great to see that there are still those out there who are willing to stand up for what is right in spite of political correctness.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.