Texas could add Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller back in textbooks

FILE: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question during the presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The Texas State Board of Education is expected to make the final vote on Friday to reinsert Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller into Texas curriculum.

The board voted to remove 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree, Helen Keller, two months ago.

Tuesday, the board took preliminary votes to put Clinton back in Texas 11th-grade U.S. history and Helen Keller back in Texas third-grade social studies curriculum standards.

Friday, they’ll vote to make that preliminary decision final.

Texas has the second-most public-school students in the country, next to California, and a large chunk of students who would be affected by the decision study in the Borderland.

Autumn Williams is an El Paso High School student taking U.S. history right now and says Clinton should stay because “She was an important female in our recent election and I believe that is something that we should keep on.”

She says Helen Keller should also stay, because Keller’s story is inspiring to students.

“Even though you believe that you can’t do something of it being too hard,” Williams says, “She was blind and deaf and still learned how to read and write.”

John Arreola is a senior at El Paso High schools and says he also believes Clinton should be restored because her story “marks the start of a new era.”

Arreola doesn’t feel the same about Helen Keller, though, although he agrees she is inspirational to some students.

“I don’t think it should be required,” he says, “but it definitely does help students inspire themselves.”

Another student, Alex Gomez, lives in Mexico, but crosses the bridge into the El Paso each morning to attend high school in the United States.

On Clinton, Gomez says “It’s an important accomplishment for a woman to be a presidential candidate of the United States.”

He continues, saying that extends to all women in history.

“There are men who don’t play a very important role in history, but are marked as important,” says Gomez, “we should learn about important women in history too.”

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