State Board of Education member Patricia Hardy became an unlikely defender of the study of hip hop music and culture Friday, as her colleagues discussed what to add and subtract from a draft of social studies curriculum standards.
The standards are up for a vote later today and will effect what is taught to Texas' more than 4.7 million school children.
Don McLeroy, a board member from College Station, suggested an amendment taking hip hop out of a list of examples of arts movements that could be studied in U.S. History for high schoolers. He wanted it replaced with country and western music.
Some board members - including Mavis Knight, of Dallas, and Lawrence A. Allen, Jr. of Houston, - opposed the amendment to the draft. They said hip hop's impact could not be denied and wasn't all bad. Hardy, a Republican from Weatherford, joined them.
"I do not like hip hop. I can't stand it myself, but I'm not 16 and I think it's had in many ways a negative effect on our society," she said. "But I think when we don't discuss things, positive or negative, we don't know and to pretend it's not there is crazy."
The motion to take out hip hop failed. A separate motion to add in country and western music passed.