Texas Students Will Soon Learn About Slavery's Role in the Civil War

November 20, 2018

By Camille Phillips

Texas' Board of Education voted Friday to change the way its students learn about the Civil War. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, students will be taught that slavery played a "central role" in the war.

The state's previous social studies standards listed three causes for the Civil War: sectionalism, states' rights and slavery, in that order. In September, the board's Democrats proposed listing slavery as the only cause.

"What the use of 'states' rights' is doing is essentially blanketing, or skirting, the real foundational issue, which is slavery," Democratic board member Marisa Perez-Diaz, from San Antonio, said at a Tuesday board meeting.

Republican board member David Bradley, from Beaumont, argued for keeping the other causes in the curriculum. He said, "Each state had differences and made individual decisions as to whether or not to join into the conflict, correct? I mean, that's the definition of states' rights."

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