Sugarcoating History

Queen Victoria, Reporter

Teach·er; Noun; a person who teaches, especially in a school. Bi·as Noun; prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. An age old question that many people think is a very complex issue and hard to discuss is how biased are our history teachers?. Well, that is just plain wrong. History teacher bias is a very simple issue that, like most hot-button issues, is deeply wrapped up in politics.
Americans like to sugarcoat everything; food, drinks, and even history. For example, we are taught from a young age that Columbus discovered America and tamed the savage Indians. Not only is that mostly false, but it gives us a false sense of ownership of America, until we are taught later in our educational career that Columbus and his glorified crusaders were not only rapists who stole land from people and then in turn enslaved those people. Another great example of this is the Vietnam war. As children, we are taught very little about the Vietnam war. During High School, when we learn about the war crimes committed by the US and how many young men were unnecessarily sent to their deaths, we are usually shocked deeply. The blunt reality of being honest mostly leads to the belief that History teachers are biased which is clearly not true.

This shock, coupled with a false sense of ownership of America, can lead to certain political beliefs, specifically Republican beliefs. In the state of Texas, where the red runs as deep as oil, bias runs rampant. They do not have individual school boards to decide the curriculum for their schools. They have one state board that decides the curriculum for the entire state. Texas’s state school board has recently decided to omit some historical facts, such as Jim Crow Laws, the KKK, and they are minimizing slavery because they are “too negative” and “too harsh.” Now that is true bias. “When history is being taught well, the purpose of the historical thinking skills are to eliminate bias. Weighing evidence is a skill (unfortunately seldom practiced) designed to identify which argument has more evidence and [is] the strongest case.” said Tim Mooney. By eliminating these important facts, Texas is not only harming history, but their student’s ability to become critical thinkers- arguably one of the most important skills taught in school. As Texas glosses over the truth of America’s rich past, they are committing the same crime they accuse history teachers of, forcing their bias onto students.
I would like credit Kirstin Sullivan for all of the help and information that she has given me.