Civics education in Texas has been turned into textbook study by a 2021 law that bans student interaction with elected officials. Apparently, the Republicans who control state government want to keep students in the dark about getting involved in civic action. Participation is a feature of civic education, but it’s illegal in the Lone Star State.

The Guardian reports:

The defining experience of Jordan Zamora-Garcia’s high school career – a hands-on group project in civics class that spurred a new city ordinance in his Austin suburb – would now violate Texas law.

Since Texas lawmakers in 2021 passed a ban on lessons teaching that any one group is “inherently racist, sexist or oppressive”, a little-noticed provision of that legislation has triggered a massive fallout for civics education across the state.Being the only one leaves a mark: a Black mother on the long shadow of school segregation

Tucked into page 8 is a stipulation outlawing all assignments involving “direct communication” between students and their federal, state or local officials – short-circuiting the training young Texans receive to participate in democracy itself.

Zamora-Garcia’s 2017 project to add student advisers to the city council, and others like it involving research and meetings with elected representatives, would stand in direct violation.Since 2021, 18 states have passed laws restricting teachings on race and gender. But Texas is the only one nationwide to suppress students’ interactions with elected officials in class projects, according to researchers at the free expression advocacy group Pen America.