social emotional learning

Social Emotional Learning or SEL for short was passed in Texas in 2021 (87R) with SB 123. The bill was authored by Dallas Democrat, Nathan Johnson (SD 16) and co-authored by Laredo Democrat, Judith Zaffirini (SD21) and Burleson Democrat, Beverly Powell (SD10). The bill passed with bi-partisan support including Amarillo Republican, Kel Seliger (SD31), Lubbock Republican, Charles Perry (SD 28) and House support including Amarillo Republican, John Smithee (HD86) and Amarillo Republican, Four Price (HD87). The bill's caption text reads "Relating to instruction in positive character traits and personal skills in public schools." What could be be wrong with traits and skills?

The law went into effect on September 1, 2021, with Texas Education Code Sec. 29.906. CHARACTER TRAITS AND PERSONAL SKILLS INSTRUCTION. Somehow, this got translated into Chapter 120, Subchapter A Character Traits which was adopted by the Texas SBOE in 2020 for Kinder-12th grade.

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Somehow, we now have new verbiage ( see (a)(3) above ) which includes words and phases like the following:

  • awareness of self-identify

  • recognize multiple perspectives

  • diversity

  • biases

  • social and cultural context in which they live

We also have directive that none of this "can be taught, discussed, or viewed in isolation" (see (a)(4) above) which translates to SEL everywhere. These vague directives along with new vocabulary outside of the original bill leave the door wide open manipulation. The following bills also laid the groundwork for SEL.

SB11 in 2019 (86R) (sponsored by Four Price) was "relating to policies, procedures, and measures for school safety and mental health promotion in public schools and the creation of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium." which Four Price and John Smithee voted in favor of.

HB18 in 2019 (86R) (authored by Four Price) was "Relating to consideration of the mental health of public school students in training requirements for certain school employees, curriculum requirements, counseling programs, educational programs, state and regional programs and services, and health care services for students and to mental health first aid program training and reporting regarding local mental health authority and school district personnel." which Four Price and John Smithee voted in favor of. 

SB504 in 2019 (86R) which "relates to the inclusion of certain information in postsecondary education and career counseling academies developed for certain school counselors and other postsecondary advisors employed by a school district." which Four Price and John Smithee voted in favor of.

what is the goal of sel?

The goal of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is to change the attitudes, values, and beliefs of your children. The question we all need to be asking is whose attitudes, values, and beliefs did we go with?

what are the dangers of sel?

No education is neutral and nearly 100% of the SEL curriculums we have reviewed are harmful. Differing programs focus on one or more of the below elements depending upon the program selected. 

Psychoanalysis By Unlicensed Professionals

Psychological Data Collection

Sharing of Data with Non-authorized 3rd Parties

Teacher Evaluations Produce Interventions which stay in a Child's Permanent Record for Life

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) which is a vein of CRT

Introduction of Religion whether it be Eastern Religions (Buddhism or Hinduism) or Secular Humanism

Activism

Gender Theory

The Removal of the Parent as the Utmost Authority on Values, Attitudes, & Beliefs

Focus on Emotions Instead of Critical Thinking

Unnatural and/or Early Exposure

Time Spent Not Working On Reading, Writing, & Math

District Funding of Unneeded Curriculum & Training 

do we have to have a sel course?

No, school districts do not have to have a stand-alone course.  TEA tells us that they may deliver the character traits in a "variety of arrangements" thus giving a district freedom to choose delivery methodology. Districts may simply integrate positive character traits standards in the TEKS in one or more courses OR subject areas. 120.1 (a) also mentions that this only needs to be done (at least) one time per K-2nd, 3-5th, 6-8th and 9-12th.  We do NOT need to have daily, weekly, or even monthly SEL time. This should not even be discussed until a district's reading proficiency levels are 90% or above. 

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How was positive character taught before the invention of social emotional learning?

Positive reinforcement has been done in the classroom for years. For example, when children read about the holocaust, they learn empathy. When a teacher assigns a project, the child learns reliability and punctuality when he or she turns in the completed assignment on time. Teachers have been displaying and reinforcing self-control, kindness, respect, and courtesy in the classroom for years. It's only been in recent years that this has become a struggle due to lack of support for teacher authority in the classroom and the implementation of discipline disintegration policies such as restorative discipline.  

Can you show me a few articles or videos supporting your arguments about sel?

Below are a few articles and videos to further your knowledge of what SEL is all about. 

can you give me specific harmful sel examples?

Yes, we will look at CASEL programs 7 Mindsets and 2nd Step as well as Character Strong and the Rhithm app. COMING SOON!

what do i do now?

Opt your child out of all SEL curriculum and surveys. Ensure that anything moving forward from the district is OPT IN only for your family. See our ACT NOW page.

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