Last night, Texas Governor Greg Abbott delivered his biennial State of the State address in which the Governor vowed to reform public education in a manner consistent with the ongoing campaign against the truthful teaching of our nation’s history and the lived experiences of all its residents.
In response to this speech, the Legal Defense Fund’s (LDF) Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jin Hee Lee, issued the following statement:
“The vision laid out by Governor Abbott in his State of the State speech is, in reality, an attack on parents, educators, and students who want to teach, learn, and discuss issues of race and identity in the classroom as part of an honest and accurate educational experience. It threatens the quality of public education in Texas. And while the Governor’s proposals would harm all Texas students, they will inflict distinct harms on Black students, educators, parents.
“Similarly, Governor Abbott’s proposed ‘Parental Bill of Rights’ — a newly announced emergency order that would allow parents to have governance over what is taught in school — will have disproportionate and destructive consequences for Black people and other people of color. As experience has shown, references to ‘parents rights’ are too often concerned with only the parents of some children, while ignoring the continuing need to provide an equitable, inclusive, and quality education for Black children.
“LDF has a long history of working in Texas on a wide range of racial justice issues, and the consistent need shared by communities is for equitable access to a high-quality education, the right to vote, and a government that recognizes their equal and full rights as fellow Texans. That is the vision needed to address the real challenges facing our communities today.”
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.