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Controversy over ‘heroic’ Alamo defenders goes to State Board of Education today

September 11, 2018

AUSTIN — The State Board of Education will hold a hearing today on whether the Texas social studies curriculum should drop the words “all the heroic defenders” from a description of those who fought at the Alamo, a proposal that has been rebuked by the governor and other top elected officials.

In June, an advisory group made up of historians and educators recommended removing the word “heroic” because it is a “value charged word.” The group also argued the term “all defenders” is too vague. The group further recommended eliminating a requirement that 7th-grade Texas History classes make a specific reference to William B. Travis’ letter addressed to “the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” commonly referred to as the “victory or death” letter.

The board will hear from at least 80 people who signed up to speak about the matter, but it will not take any action until November.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick criticized the proposed changes as “political correctness.” Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who is working on a plan to revamp Alamo Plaza, said taking the word heroic out of the curriculum is “not debatable to me.”

But that decision will be left to State Board of Education members, some of whom have already said they will not support the change.

Donna Bahorich, a the board chairwoman and a Houston Republican, tweeted that the committee has “done an EXCELLENT job of streamlining TX social studies standards, however, I do not support deleting one of the most iconic letters in US History for 7th grade,” she wrote. She tagged the Tweet with “#HeroesAll #txed #RememberTheAlamo.”

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

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