On January 6th, Washington State Representative Jim Walsh filed HB-1807, to protect “civic education and academic discourse” in Kindergarten through 8th grade classrooms. (There is already existing law for civics education in high school). This bill is getting a hearing in the House Committee on Education on January 25th at 8AM.
HB-1807 would teach students “the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government and Washington’s role in that noble experiment; The history, qualities, traditions, and features of civic 21 engagement in the United States and in Washington.”
Some of the founding and historical documents of the United States that would be included in this civics education:
- The Declaration of Independence
- The United States Constitution
- The Federalist Papers
- Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations
- The second of John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government
- The transcript of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate
- Writings from Frederick Douglass’s newspaper, the North Star
- The Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850
- The Indian Removal Act; and Jefferson’s “Letter to the Danbury Baptists”
- The history of white supremacy, including the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the origins of the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which these systems of belief sowed division, caused harm, and were combatted through peaceful protest, civic engagement, and the American courts
- The history and importance of the American civil rights movement, including the following documents at a minimum:
- Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
- The Emancipation Proclamation
- The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution
- Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream” speech
- The federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000a et seq.)
- The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483
- Read the full bill: 1807.pdf (wa.gov)
Many parents have become concerned and even removed their students from the public schools system altogether because of CRT (Critical Race Theory) being taught in our schools today. In the name of social just and equity, our students are not learning about American history – the good and the bad – and instead area being taught to hate our country, and often to hate themselves.
HB-1807 also protects students from CRT. Teachers may “not be compelled” to teach from resources such as “The 1619 Project” or “How to Be Anti-Racist.” And if they do, they must present various perspectives and not give favor to one over another. It also prevents requiring teachers and staff to participate in “anti-racist” training. We know of many teachers who have left the public-school systems due to being forced to sit through trainings that made them feel guilt for their race or sex.
This bill would be a great step in the right direction for education in Washington state. But WE THE PEOPLE will need to step up and help make it happen. Please TAKE ACTION TODAY. See below for various action steps you can take.
Note your position for the legislative record: this screen shows that you are signing in to testify – you can note your position without signing in to testify. In the first screen enter your position as PRO and then add your details below. Click here: CSI (wa.gov)
If you would like to TESTIFY in the Zoom meeting on Wednesday, January 25th at 8AM please register here: CSI (wa.gov)
TIP: Writing out your statement ahead of time will ensure that you are able to articulately deliver the points you wish to make.
IF you would like to TESTIFY in WRITING, please register here: CSI (wa.gov)
You can also send an email to the entire Education Committee giving them your input on this bill. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few sentences as to why you want them to vote YES on HB-1807. The list can be found here: Education Committee Members and Staff (wa.gov)
*By Julie Barrett, Founder, Conservative Ladies of Washington