As long as one can remember, parents have sent their children to school in hopes that they’ll get an education that will allow them to learn from our past, develop critical thinking skills, and find their passion as they become contributing adults in our society.
The schoolhouse door is meant to welcome children from every background as they learn the world around them and develop their own form of thinking. Sadly, throughout the years certain politicians with limited world views have attempted to push their own political agenda through that same door.
For many years now, far-right politicians have pushed to whitewash our history by censoring what can be taught in classrooms, limiting teachings on climate change, and failing to update outdated social studies standards in an attempt to avoid including historical contributions from LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. TFN knows very well that these attacks are not new. Since our founding, Texas Freedom Network has organized and highlighted the far-right’s creeping attempts to control our state’s education system from the state board of education level and in our legislature.
In our mission to protect our public schools, we’re already noticing a wave of more radical views from the newly elected members to the SBOE. The last time the Board was this conservative, Texas drew eyeballs from across the country as facts and scholarship were tossed aside for the personally held political beliefs of some members. As we find ourselves at this crossroads again – and as this newly radicalized Board sets to review and adopt new science textbooks – we thought it fitting to use Charles Darwin’s birthday to promote science and support our public schools to guide folks into advocacy!
Known as the “Father of Evolution,” Charles Darwin has been in the middle of many SBOE battles in the past, and it’s highly likely that he’ll come up again this year as creationists will likely attack proposed science textbooks for their coverage of evolution. The fight for science has already started in our state capitol as former SBOE member and current far-right Texas House Rep. Terri Leo-Wilson has filed a bill (HB 1804) that would require textbooks to teach “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories, which creationists have long used to attack textbooks that don’t include their arguments about phony “weaknesses” of evolution.
As many can see, we are not safe from the far-right’s politicization of schools, and there is in fact work to be done. So in honor of the meaning behind Darwin Day celebrating Charles Darwin’s birthday, we invite you to take action and ensure schools can teach the truth.
Way to get involved:
1. Join the #TeachTheTruth Movement
2. Sign-up to get alerts about actions at the SBOE
3. Attend TFN’s Advocacy Day to learn how to testify at the Texas Capitol
4. Become a Freedom Fighter by donating to the #TeachTheTruth campaign
Every child deserves an honest and accurate education free of political interference. As long as we organize and speak up, we can protect their future.