Texas’ controversial new social studies law prompts McKinney school officials to cancel Youth and Government class

Jason Kao
Texas Tribune

Excerpt: McKinney school officials long took pride in their students’ participation in the nationwide Youth and Government program, calling the district a “perennial standout.”

Every year, students researched current issues, proposed and debated their own public policy, and competed in a mock legislature and elections process for statewide offices. Since the program’s arrival at McKinney in 2005 as a club, seven of the district’s middle school students have been elected governor — the program’s top honor — at the statewide conference in Austin. In 2017, the district added an elective option: Seventh and eighth graders in two of the district’s middle schools could now receive course credit for participating in the program.

But in June, the district canceled the elective option in response to a social studies law passed during this year’s regular legislative session. The law is part of a nationwide movement to ban any teachings conservatives believe sow racial divisions and make white children believe they are racist. But the cancellation appears to be a misapplication. The new law only applies to required social studies classes, not electives like the McKinney class.