Today the Texas House passed Senate Bill 3 (SB3), the school censorship bill, furthering the Governor’s attack on Texas youth. It now heads back to the Senate before it moves to the Governor’s desk. CDF-Texas issued the following statement:
This bill is an attack on our youth, on Texan students of color, and on our democracy. It censors classroom conversations on race and dissuades youth from engaging with advocacy and activism in their communities. It takes away the very tools children need to be informed, engaged members of our democracy.
Apparently, our lawmakers buckled under mounting pressure from the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, who continued to hold hostage funding for our state’s entire legislative branch unless the Texas House passed this bill.
SB3 passed in spite of dozens of student testimonies against school censorship, bipartisan opposition to the bill, and thousands of Texans speaking out against it, including many teacher and student groups. We owe it to this sustained advocacy—particularly from Texas youth—that helped ensure legislative allies fought to include additional protections for students and teachers.
This school censorship effort comes during a voter suppression session where lawmakers have advanced anti-voting bills that will further disenfranchise Texas youth.
“Youth are already leaders in their communities,” says Maggie Stern, Youth Civic Education and Engagement Coordinator. “From producing record voter turnout to coordinating mutual aid efforts, from advocating for change in their schools to leading conversations about race, youth are central to building a state that works for everyone. They deserve institutions that will support that leadership.”
As our leaders work to silence our youth, we will continue fighting for a Texas where our students, teachers, and youth of color can learn, grow, and thrive. Every child deserves a fair start that includes a complete and comprehensive civic education.