Late Friday night, the Texas Senate passed HB 3979 / SB 2202, despite thousands of calls and emails from teachers, students, and parents opposing this anti-civics, anti-democratic bill.
The passage of HB 3979 follows a troubling pattern of elected officials ignoring and even silencing the voices of Texans in this legislative session. It is concerning that a bill that talks about the importance of civic engagement was passed secretly through committee without sufficient public notice to allow Texans to testify about the bill. It is also disturbing that a group of legislators much less diverse than Texas’s own population is making the decision to censor vital discussions about civil rights history, continued racial injustice in the state, and the crucial need for creating space in classrooms for students to learn about these topics.
Students, teachers, school districts, chambers of commerce, and nonpartisan organizations like CDF-Texas continue to tell lawmakers that HB 3979 will censor classroom conversations and stifle young Texans just as they are learning what it means to be an engaged member of our democracy. The voices of young Texans will not be silenced or suppressed. In spite of state leaders’ efforts, we at CDF-Texas will persist to make sure that every child has a fair start that includes a complete and comprehensive civic education.