Removing Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton from history curriculum is erasure, plain and simple
A Texas school board is proactively pursuing their own version of revisionist history by removing all mentions of Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton from the school’s history curriculum for 5.4 million school children. But don’t worry! They’re keeping Moses (yes, that Moses) in the books.
The changes are apparently part of an effort to “streamline” information in history classes for children across the state. Here’s how the board determined the importance of historical figures: each figure was given a rating of 1-20. Clinton, the first woman in U.S. history to win a presidential nomination by a major political party, ranked a five.
Helen Keller, a writer and activist (a pearl-clutching, triggering word, to be sure), was the first deaf and blind American to earn a college degree. She earned a seven. But…Moses. Moses. He made the cut. As did multiple references to “Judeo-Christian values” and a requirement that students explain how the “Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict” in the Middle East. The board, while cutting these prominent female figures from the state’s curriculum, also seeks to focus more on military and first-responders instead.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) September 15, 2018
Is it surprising that an influential group of people in Texas don’t find the contributions of two women who changed the educational and political landscape of our entire country more worthy than those of lesser men? Not entirely. But to completely re-write history, literally, as though these women didn’t exist? Get it together, Texas board. It’s insulting to all women, and especially to the impressionable minds who will be subject to the “revised” curriculum.
Plenty of people weighed in on the proposed changes and erasure of Keller and Clinton.
The problem with Texas eliminating women like Hillary Clinton & Helen Keller from textbooks is that what happens in Texas doesn’t stay in Texas.
For decades, publishers have allowed Texas to exert control over what gets printed in textbooks nationally.https://t.co/X92usvXlC6
— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) September 15, 2018
The GOP Board of Education in Texas has decided to try and erase former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the history books? What are they afraid of, an accomplished woman?https://t.co/C3UjydMxDx
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) September 15, 2018
Texas is removing mention of Hillary Clinton from its high school history books but keeping in Moses' influence on U.S. founding documents?
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) September 16, 2018
Seriously. Yes, this is the elected state board of education in Texas wiping strong women from our history books. I’m hiding my pink sneakers … https://t.co/zCCMpUw9M0
— Wendy Davis (@wendydavis) September 15, 2018
They don’t need to remove Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from textbooks.
They do need to remove the people who removed them from the textbooks.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 15, 2018
This is wild. I understand folks hate Hillary. HATE. This doesn't make what they're doing right, in any sense. But… Helen Keller?! Like… what could the justification possibly be for this?? https://t.co/VOQOCEHO1n
— April (@ReignOfApril) September 15, 2018
The specific recommendations — and that’s all they are for now, recommendations — are for Helen Keller to be removed from a third-grade history lesson on “citizenship” and for Hillary Clinton to be removed from high school curriculum surrounding significant political and social leaders in the United States, according to the Dallas Morning News. Interestingly, those who received a “perfect” score of 20 were local members of the Texas legislature, Barbara Jordan did too, so that’s something. A very singular something.
The recommendations mean that these subjects aren’t forbidden to be taught, but they’re no longer mandatory. A final vote on the curriculum will happen in November.