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Mar. 12 2010 - 12:59 pm | 321 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Texas BOE Member Walks Out As Racists Take Over

Texas State Board of Education member Mary Helen Berlanga walked out of the meeting today, in protest over the Republican religious fanatics’ attempts to turn sociology into a “whites only” course.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A longtime State Board of Education member accused her colleagues of “whitewashing” curriculum standards Thursday and walked out of the panel’s meeting in frustration amid heated debates about race and the inclusion of Hispanics in lesson plans.

The board had rejected an effort to include the names of two Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients and one black recipient in lessons for a world history class, but agreed to revisit the amendment for an American history class. It also approved an amendment that deletes a requirement that sociology students “explain how institutional racism is evident in American society.”

“I mean we’ve already been whitewashing all of social studies up to this point and now we’re doing it in sociology?” Democratic board member Mary Helen Berlanga said after Republican Barbara Cargill’s amendment was proposed. “You’ve got to leave some integrity in this.”

The amendment was adopted on a 10-5 party line vote.

Decisions by the board — long led by social conservatives who have advocated ideas such as teaching more about the weaknesses of evolutionary theory — affects textbook content nationwide because Texas is one of publishers’ biggest clients.

Berlanga, who has served on the board since 1982, walked out of the meeting after reviewing upcoming amendments involving the inclusion of Hispanic names in the standards.

“I’ve had it, this is it,” she said. “I’m leaving. We can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.”


2 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    Decisions by the board… affects textbook content nationwide because Texas is one of publishers’ biggest clients.

    In the era of digital books and on-demand publishing, this rationale is clearly bogus — and was inexcusable even back in the days of hot type.

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