Education

High School Class Uses ‘A Loophole’ In Texas Law To ‘Embed Critical Race Theory’

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Kendall Tietz Education Reporter
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UPDATE: This article has been updated to include comment from UT Austin Issues and Communications Manager Eliska S. Padilla clarifying that the university’s dual credit program does not assign a race book list.

  • A college-level high school English class instructed students to write a research paper on a “current … controversy” using three different gender, race and ethnicity book lists, according to the assignment obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • The lists included titles such as “The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person” by Frederick Joseph, “for white people who are committed anti-racists and those newly come to the cause of racial justice,” and “The Black and the Blue” by Matthew Horace, which discusses “the racism seething within America’s police departments.”
  • “This is a loophole, and frankly, dual credit classes can still embed Critical Race Theory or other woke elements into the class,” education activist Carlos Turcios told the DCNF.

A high school English class instructed students to write an essay on hot-button issues in American identity, such as gender, race and ethnicity.

A college-level English class at Southwest High School in Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) instructed students to write a research paper on a “current (within the past two years) controversy” regarding race, gender or ethnicity, according to the assignment description obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The class is a part of a dual credit program for high school students run by the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).

Students were asked to examine the controversy in terms of community, work, education, the justice system and politics as it relates to equity, money or access. To support their essay’s argument, students were provided with three different gender, race and ethnicity book lists to aid their research.

The race book list, which is not directly assigned by UT Austin, included works by Ibram X. Kendi, an outspoken proponent of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and “anti-racism,” such as “How to Be an Antiracist” and “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You.” 

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

 Ibram X. Kendi visits Build to discuss the book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You at Build Studio on March 10, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Ibram X. Kendi visits Build to discuss the book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You on March 10, 2020. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

“There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy,” Kendi purports in his book, “How To Be An Antiracist.”

“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination,” Kendi writes. “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” (RELATED: GOP Lawmaker Claims School Officials In His State Found A Loophole In The Ban On CRT)

Other books include “The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person” by Frederick Joseph, “for white people who are committed anti-racists and those newly come to the cause of racial justice,” and “The Black and the Blue” by Matthew Horace, which discusses “the racism seething within America’s police departments.”

The gender book list included titles like “Tomboy” by Lisa Selin Davis, which “is a celebration of both diversity and those who dare to be different, ultimately revealing how gender nonconformity is a gift,” according to a book description

“I understand it is a dual credit class, it is a college class technically,” Carlos Turcios, a former FWISD student, who is now an education activist fighting CRT in the district, told the DCNF. “With the SB 3 law, [Texas state] Senator Brian Hughes did say that technically it is in violation, but … since it is a dual credit class, this is somewhat of a loophole that frankly is being exploited in the law.”

Texas Senate Bill 3 is an update to instructional requirements enacted by House Bill 3979 in June of 2021 that prohibited teaching K-12 students that individuals bear responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the individual’s same race or sex or that an individual is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive by virtue of their race or sex.

Senate Bill 3 states that any teacher who chooses to “discuss a widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs,” should do so “objectively and in a manner free from political bias.”

UT Austin Issues and Communications Manager Eliska S. Padilla told the DCNF that “OnRamps will address current law compliance and course integrity during required teacher professional development.”

“All UT dual credit, OnRamps courses, have been reviewed and redeveloped as needed to ensure compliance with SB3,” the statement said. “This assignment, as written by the university, calls for independent research and does not provide a booklist.”

“This is a loophole, and frankly, dual credit classes can still embed Critical Race Theory or other woke elements into the class,” Turcios said.

FWISD did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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