Texas legislation would require schools to teach ‘informed American patriotism’

By: | May 17, 2021

The Texas House has advanced legislation that would require K-12 school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to teach “informed American patriotism” through the founding documents of the U.S. starting in the 2021-22 school year.

The House passed House Bill 4509, by state Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, by a voice vote Thursday afternoon. It will need one more vote before it can be sent to the Texas Senate.

HB 4509 would, among other things, mandate that students study documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers to promote understanding of the “fundamental moral principles” of the country.

Before voting on the bill Thursday, the House adopted an amendment proposed by Bonnen to include speeches by Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech as part of the required texts mentioned in the bill. That came after criticism that the bill initially focused on writings by white historical figures.

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