US education board gets proposal to rename slavery ‘involuntary relocation’ 1 month ago

US education board gets proposal to rename slavery ‘involuntary relocation’

'I can't say what their intention was, but that's not going to be acceptable'

A group of teachers and professors have urged the Texas State Board of Education to refer to slavery as "involuntary relocation" during lessons.

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A year after Texas lawmakers passed a law to keep topics that cause "discomfort" out of the classroom, educators have written to the Board of Education about the language used to describe slavery. This summer, the board will make its once-a-decade changes to social studies lessons and this new suggestion is one of many they are reportedly considering.

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The working group is made of nine educators, including a professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley - but their proposal received pushback during a meeting on June 15. Democrat Aicha Davis challenged the move and said that the wording is not a "fair representation" of historical events.

In a statement issued by Board of Education chair Keven Ellis on Thursday (June 30), it was revealed that lawmakers voted by "unanimous consent" to ask the workgroup to "revisit that specific language."

Speaking to the Texas Tribune, Davis added: "I can't say what their intention was, but that's not going to be acceptable."

The University professor mentioned earlier, Stephanie Alvarez, told the Tribune that she was not at the meetings due to personal issues. She did, however, say the language was "extremely disturbing."

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Harvard professor Annette Gordon-Reed said that dubbing slavery as "involuntary relocation" threatens to blur what actually happened.

"Young kids can grasp the concept of slavery and being kidnapped into it," Gordon-Reed said. "The African slave trade is unlike anything that had or has happened, the numbers and distance.

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"Tell children the truth. They can handle it," she added.

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