By Karen Daniels
The State of Texas has a rich and unique history. Often though, this is left out of our student’s classroom books that have been approved as our State’s curriculum. Fortunately, teachers find ways to introduce these distinctive events to our students.
On February 8th, Stafford Middle School teacher, Garrett Kelley, attended such an event called the 20th Century Texas workshop in Austin, with the hope to pass on fascinating information to the kids in his class. Sponsored by Humanities Texas and the Texas State Historical Association, participants worked closely with leading Texas university professors as they examined historical maps, documents and photographs, learning about specific court cases that shaped our future.
“This workshop bridges the gap that our Texas history books leave out.” Mr. Kelley plans to use images from the Hispanic Civil Rights movements to discuss a particular murder case that occurred in Edna, Texas, in 1951. A Hispanic male killed another Hispanic male, but there were no Hispanics on the jury. “State law at the time viewed Hispanics as White,” Mr. Kelley explained. “Students would be interested in the subject because of it being a murder, but can see the points of view as Hispanics move toward equality.” Mr. Kelley also plans to teach students the importance of Sweatt v. Painter, the Supreme Court case concerning the suit against The University of Texas Law School for discriminated entry based upon race. This monumental case opened up school admission to African American’s.
The Texas Humanities’ goal is to promote heritage, culture and education. The TSHA seeks to preserve historical material and foster the appreciation of Texas’ unique history. Books and a flash drive were given to attendees. “Organizations like these need to continue to receive state funding helping teachers, help kids.” Thank you Mr. Kelley for your creative approach to teaching!