House Bill 3749 (Protecting Historical Integrity)
House Bill 3749, introduced by Representative Steven Long, requires any historical plaque, proposed by a local government, related to a monument or statue to be approved by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History to insure that the statement is factually accurate and free of all opinionated statements. The bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 3632, introduced by Representative Dwight Loftis, rebukes mob rule by requiring illegally toppled monuments to be repaired and put back in place. Additionally, the bill puts in place mandatory minimum community service hours for those that vandalize historical monuments and cemetery headstones. The bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 3759, introduced by House Speaker Jay Lucas, aims to reform South Carolina's public education system. While the bill does many good things, it unfortunately weakens history education in South Carolina. The legislation, which has already passed the House, removes the subject of Social Studies from the State Assessment program.
The main component of Social Studies is history. Additionally, the bill removes the requirement that high school students pass an American History course. While some are in favor of reduced testing, this bill eliminates testing in the subject of American History completely. The fear is that teachers will spend even less time teaching history and more on the other subjects in which their students will be evaluated. The relevant sections of the bill are sections 7, 8, and 9.
The Senate is now considering the bill and has introduced their own version, Senate Bill 419 (SB 419). SB 419, introduced by Senator Greg Hembree, preserves the requirement that high school students pass an American History course but unfortunately, like the House bill, eliminates the subject of Social Studies from the State Assessment program.