Lawmakers in South Carolina are proposing a bill that would use Donald Trump’s controversial 1776 report to create the US history curriculum for all public middle and high school students in the state.
The state’s top education leader, Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said she supports the bill
The Restore America’s Foundation Act would require “a minimum of 30 hours of classroom instruction” on United States history every year for students in grades six through 12, according to WYFF4 News. Social studies teachers would be required to spend no fewer than five hours on each of the four sections: Examining the lead up to the American Revolution, the Revolution and some of its battles, America’s political philosophy, and the legacy of the Revolution.
The bill would also require the State Superintendent of Education to “review and prescribe suitable texts and online materials aligned with the principles and concepts of the January 2021 report of the 1776 Commission.”
South Carolina State Sen. Dwight Loftis (R) sponsored the legislation.
“We have, in today’s society, a lot of disrespect for the flag, the national anthem, and that sort of thing,” Loftis said. “The knowledge of where we came from and why our forefathers did what they did, I think it’s important that we know.”
Trump established the 1776 Commission in September 2020–without actual historians– in response to The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, which focused on the country’s history of slavery and racism.
Trump claimed the 1619 Project taught students to “hate their own country.” The commission released its report in Jan. 2021, that aims to promote a “patriotic education” in schools.
At the time, the White House called the report “a definitive chronicle of the American founding” and a “rebuttal of reckless ‘re-education’ attempts that seek to reframe American history around the idea that the United States is not an exceptional country but an evil one.”
“Historical revisionism tramples honest scholarship and historical truth, shames Americans by highlighting only the sins of their ancestors, and teaches claims of systemic racism that can only be eliminated by more discrimination, is an ideology intended to manipulate opinions more than educate minds,” the report stated.
Many critics said the report confuses nationalism with patriotism and President Biden signed an executive order shortly after his inauguration rescinding the 1776 Commission.