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Texas education board members vow to keep PragerU out of public schools after one state official went rogue

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SBOE member Staci Childs speaks at Tuesday's press conference.Texas House of Representatives
  • Several Texas education board members condemned PragerU's right-wing curriculum on Tuesday.

  • They urged member Julie Pickren, to explain why she falsely said that PragerU was coming to Texas schools.

  • They vowed not to allow PragerU's controversial lessons into Texas schools.

Texas State Board of Education members are vowing to keep controversial curriculum from PragerU out of the state's public schools after one of their colleagues went rogue.

At a press conference on Tuesday, four State Board of Education members joined together with education advocates to condemn PragerU and their board colleague Julie Pickren.

PragerU and Julie Pickren did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Last week, Pickren went rogue, partnering with PragerU — which has already been approved in Florida — to falsely announce that the right-wing group's educational materials had been approved for use in Texas.

In the video, titled "PragerU Kids is Now in Texas!," Pickren tells PragerU CEO Marissa Streit, "We are definitely ready to welcome PragerU into the great state of Texas." A blurb beside the video also claims that "PragerU is an approved education vendor in the state of Texas."

The board members said at Tuesday's press conference that PragerU has not been approved for use in Texas public schools, and they vowed to try to keep it out of the state's schools.

"Let me set the record straight: We have not voted on anything regarding PragerU," State Board of Education member Staci Childs said at the press conference. "Those are lies. I want my colleague to stand up and explain to us, especially the people here, why she's spewing those lies."

"I'm very disheartened," she added. "But you can count on me. If I have anything to do with it, PragerU will not be in Texas."

Speakers at Tuesday's conference denounced PragerU's educational videos, which they said attempt to whitewash history, defend slavery, and promote gender norms.

Childs said she was particularly offended by one of PragerU's videos, in which she said that a narrator suggests that slavery is just a part of life and is better than being killed.

"We were surprised and shocked by what our colleague was doing," board member Melissa Ortega said."We do not endorse this, and we will not be having this come to Texas."

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