Politics & Government

Texas Board of Education considered 'Barack Hussein Obama' for curriculum

AUSTIN — The State Board of Education voted to include President Obama in a revised social studies curriculum on Thursday after a Republican board member temporarily offered —but then withdrew — an amendment that would have listed the president's full name — Barack Hussein Obama.

"The intent behind what you're doing, I think, is pretty obvious," board member Bob Craig of Lubbock said after his fellow Republican, David Bradley of Beaumont, offered the amendment. "I just don't that's correct."

"We don’t have to insult the president of the United States," Lawrence A. Allen Jr., a Houston Democrat and an African-American, told Bradley. "I'm asking you to please withdraw your amendment."

Another member, Mary Helen Berlanga, D-Corpus Christi, said the motion would be "humiliating" to the nation's first African-American president.

"I'll put an end to the whining," Bradley said. "I'll withdraw the motion."

"I don't consider it whining," snapped Mavis B. Knight, D-Dallas, an African-American.

The board accepted Allen's amendment to specifically note that Obama is the nation's first black president.

The proposed standards had referred to the 2008 election of the first black president, but African-Americans in the Legislature were angered that Obama was not named.

The board worked through more than 120 amendments Thursday on the eve of a final vote on the new social studies curriculum standards.

After more than 10 hours debate, Chairwoman Gail Lowe abruptly called a mid-evening dinner recess after tempers flared during debate involving the opposing presidents in the Civil War.

"I want everybody to take a break," she said.

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