• Alison Fernandez • IDRA Newsletter • August 2021 •
Excerpt from Testimony Against SB 3 Presented to the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee
Editor’s Note: During its special session, the Texas Legislature considered a proposal, Senate Bill 3, as a companion to the classroom censorship (HB 3979) measure that was passed in the spring.
I urge this committee to not pass Senate Bill 3. Black and Brown students and other marginalized communities, such as myself, simply want to see our people reflected in the curriculum and to deepen the knowledge of our roots within the story of this country.
I look back on my formative years as a high school student trying to remember a time where learning about my Latinx heritage culture and simply who I am and what brought me here was deemed a threat to others. I can’t remember because, in reality, learning these things creates well-rounded, critical thinkers and provides a safe haven for students like me.
By prohibiting teachers to speak the truth and covering the sun with one finger, we are perpetuating an environment of division and racism that remains unsolved because we cannot see it and tackle it together. Education should be about students, about our growth within our identities and our voices. SB 3 erases the efforts of Latinx and Black youth to become more knowledgeable about our communities and ancestors. We are expected to learn about JFK, Reagan and Bush. Are their lives more valuable than Barbara Jordan or Emmett Till, or the millions of Black people (some who were slaves and former slaves) who fought for our freedom – the liberty and justice promised to all of us under this constitution?
By prohibiting teachers to speak the truth and covering the sun with one finger, we are perpetuating an environment of division and racism that still remains unsolved because we can’t see it and tackle it together.
I ask you all not to let history repeat itself, to no longer crush our craving to talk about our ancestors, and to simply let students be independent, critical thinkers. We can’t change the past, but we can rewrite the future. If we can’t criticize our own system, how are we expected to be outspoken and change the world? Thank you.
Alison Fernandez is a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin.
IDRA helped bring students to the Texas capitol, connect them with the media, and facilitate meetings with lawmakers and their staff.
[©2021, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the August 2021 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]