The Texas Board of Education voted Friday to remove historical figures including Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from the mandatory history curriculum in Texas schools. The preliminary vote is an attempt by the board to “streamline” what students learn in social studies classes, according to the publication.
Removing figures from the curriculum wouldn’t prevent teaching about them, but would mean doing so is not mandatory.
The vote Friday was not final. Amendments can be made to the curriculum before a final vote is held in November.
Clinton was the first female presidential nominee of a major party. Keller was a deaf and blind woman who graduated from college and became an activist.
The Dallas Morning News reported that high school students have been “assigned to ‘evaluate the contributions of significant political and social leaders in the United States,'” including Clinton and others such as Sandra Day O’Connor and Andrew Carnegie.
The board also made decisions to keep some references in the curriculum which had been recommended for removal by a working group tasked with streamlining the curriculum, such as a description of the “heroism” of people who defended the Alamo. The board voted to keep references of “Judeo-Christian” values and their influence on American politics and history.
They also voted to reinsert the Biblical figure Moses as an influence on American politics, and remove philosopher Thomas Hobbes from the section on “individuals whose principles of laws and government institutions informed the American founding.”
The Texas Board of Education has previously invited controversy over its votes. In 2013, the approval of textbooks that did not include references to creationism as an alternative to evolution was delayed because of opposition from Christian conservatives.