Heated debates Wednesday continued in front of the Texas State Board of Education. Wednesday was the final day of public testimony before the board makes its final vote on proposed changes to Social Studies and History curriculums within Texas public schools.
More than 200 people signed up to testify.
With just the first speaker at the podium, the tension began. The board was forced to pause testimony several times to get the crowd under control.
"I'm sorry, I will need to ask that those who cannot abide by our rules are escorted out of the room," announced Chairwoman Gail Lowe, SBOE.
There were extreme differences of opinions inside the meeting room. According to the testimony list, it’s a near even split among those registered to speak in support of the proposed changes and those speaking against the changes.
The board is considering which historical figures, religions, and events will be taught in Texas public schools. In particular, the board has been asked to incorporate more minority figures and additional religions.
According to earlier proposals, the Christian holiday of Christmas was going to be removed. The board has since changed that finding and incorporated it once again.
They have also included about 100 additional minority historical figures.
"There are more minorities in these standards than in the TEKS adopted in 1998 - by far. We’ve included many more minority figures that we think are important and that are just interesting for students to learn about. That’s just about at every grade level," said Lowe.
However, some of those who registered to testify on Wednesday believe the board is rushing its decision. A mixed group has asked the State Board to postpone the final vote. They want more experts and historians to review the proposed changes.
The board was still expected to make its final vote on Friday. The decision will hold valid in curriculums for the next 10 years.