Texas SBOE Rejects Religious Freedom in Social Studies Curriculum
Board Votes Down Requiring Students to Learn Founders Acted to Bar Government from Promoting, Disfavoring Any Particular Religion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2010
The Texas State Board of Education’s vote today against requiring that students learn what the nation’s Founders did to protect religious freedom represents an irresponsible rewriting of American history and a stunning triumph of politics over education, the president of the Texas Freedom Network said today.
“These board members voted to reject the most fundamental constitutional protection for religious freedom in America today: the principle that government may not disfavor or promote any religion over all others,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “In a world plagued by religious conflict, the Founders understood that keeping government out of religion was essential to protecting freedom. It’s stunning that this board, which directs the education of nearly 5 million public school children, doesn’t understand that.”
The board’s vote came on an amendment offered by Mavis Knight,
D-Dallas: “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.”
The board rejected Knight’s amendment on a party-line vote, with all Republicans voting no and all Democrats voting yes.
The board is continuing the revision of social studies standards today and tomorrow and will take a final vote in May. Publishers will use the standards to write new textbooks that will be sold in Texas and across the country.
The Texas Freedom Network is a nonspartisan, grassroots organization that supports religious freedom and civil liberties and public education.