Some Texas State Board of Education members aren’t content with just rewriting American history. Apparently, they would also like to write other board members out of the board’s history itself. Consider this passage in the latest edition of the Cargill Connection, an e-mail newsletter from board member Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands:

“The November meeting will be the last one for my fellow Board members, Don McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar. It has been a privilege to serve with people of such integrity who worked tirelessly to improve education in our state. I am thankful for them and for their service on the Board.”

One wouldn’t know from reading Cargill’s e-mail that next week’s board meeting is also the last for three other members: Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas; Rick Agosto, D-San Antonio; and Rene Nuñez, D-El Paso. Of course, those three have often — especially this year — voted in opposition to Cargill and the rest of the board’s far-right faction. More fundamentally, far-right board members and their allies simply don’t see Miller, Agosto, Nuñez and other board members as Christian enough. Don’t agree? Read their own words for yourself here. And here. AndRead More

The research compiled by the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University in San Marcos is heartbreaking: since 2004, at least six Texas teens have been so tormented by bullying and  abuse at school that they have taken their own lives. Another attempted suicide by jumping from a  two-and-a-half-story balcony.

Some of the students were gay or lesbian (or perceived to be their tormentors). Others weren’t. One Rockdale student shot herself after constant bullying over her weight and physical appearance. A transgender teen from the same town hung herself just the next month. A high school student in Cleburne, harassed repeatedly because of facial scars and a hearing impairment, was reportedly told: “If I had a face like yours, I’d shoot myself.” He went home and did just that.

Today more and more adults are standing up to say, “Enough.” They are calling on lawmakers to pass anti-bullying legislation that helps protect all children from this abuse. And they are appealing to young people — gay and straight — to keep the hope that life gets better. We were especially moved by this video of an openly gay Fort Worth City Council member, Joel Burns,… Read More

The Texas State Board of Education is about to take up a proposed resolution attacking Islam and claiming that social studies textbooks are anti-Christian. TFN Insider will keep you updated on progress. 9:53 a.m. - We notice that board members Barbara Cargill and Don McLeroy have been going through world history textbooks currently used in Texas publics schools. Cargill has them stacked at her desk. We anticipate that she and McLeroy will use examples from those books to try to prove that they reflect an anti-Christian, pro-Islamic bias. But those textbooks were approved for Texas schools by this board in 2002, and social conservatives at the time were very happy. Why? Because, as news reports from the time explain, they were able to force publishers to make numerous changes, including the addition of positive references to Christianity and the deletion of neutral or positive references to Islam. From a Houston Chronicle article dated Oct. 30, 2002 (now archived on a conservative Christian website): The discussion of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., by Muslim extremists was closely read by many reviewers. Raborn criticized a passage in the Glencoe/McGraw-Hill book that…… Read More

Texas State Board of Education member Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, has written a new essay defending absurd, politicized changes the board is making to the social studies curriculum for public schools. We have discussed in the past many of the points she touches on in the essay. But we haven't said much about one in particular -- the insistence by far-right board members that students learn the United States is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. Read More

Let's revisit the success of Texas State Board of Education member Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, in requiring social studies students to analyze Confederate President Jefferson Davis's inaugural address. The Texas Education Agency has posted the revised American history curriculum standards (as of the January changes) here. The relevant standard for eighth-grade American history reads: "(A)nalyze the ideas contained in Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address and Abraham Lincoln's ideas about liberty, equality, union, and government as contained in his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address." The implication here is that Davis and Lincoln had competing ideas about "liberty, equality, union, and government." Such competing ideas should be obvious: Davis was defending the Confederacy's right to secede so that it could maintain the evil institution of slavery. Lincoln, who opposed slavery, was trying to maintain the Union. But that's not what Cargill and other far-right board members really have in mind. Read More