Law Firm Fights Against Banning Of Critical Race Theory From Lesson Plans

by Gee NY
Great Oak High School students hold signs during a protest of the districts ban of critical race theory curriculum at Patricia H. Birdsall Sports Park in Temecula, Calif, on Dec. 16, 2022. (Watchara Phomicinda / The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images)

Thompson & Horton, a law firm based in Texas, is offering guidance to educators dealing with the state’s ban on teaching critical race theory.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an intellectual movement developed in the United States in the late 20th century. It emerged as a response to the limitations of traditional civil rights approaches to addressing racial inequality.

CRT seeks to understand how and why racial disparities persist, and it is based on the idea that racism is not just an individual problem but is embedded in legal systems, institutions, and social structures.

At the recent Texas Association of School Boards conference, the law firm presented a comprehensive strategy for integrating historically accurate content into lesson plans while staying compliant with the new laws.

According to Ashley White, a senior associate at Thompson & Horton, Senate Bill 3 prohibits teachers and school districts from mandating an understanding of the 1619 Project.

However, it does not prevent students from voluntarily choosing assignments related to the 1619 Project, teachers from including the 1619 Project as an option alongside other books for student projects, or teachers from assigning articles that may contain concepts from the 1619 Project.

White emphasized that students can utilize prohibited reading materials and learning resources to support their classroom explorations without violating Texas laws.

For instance, if students want to explore the concept that every American musical genre has roots in Black culture, this idea, which comes from the 1619 Project, would still be permissible.

A video of the presentation made its way to the conservative outlet Accuracy in Media, which accused Thompson & Horton of promoting radical critical race theory principles. The outlet suggested that the law firm was attempting to indoctrinate students. However,

Thompson & Horton denied these allegations, emphasizing that their presentation focused on explaining Senate Bill 3, its provisions, and how schools can remain compliant, without endorsing or encouraging actions that would circumvent the law.

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