Texas

The shooter who opened fire after a routine traffic stop Saturday in Texas, killing seven people and injuring 22, was fired just hours before the deadly shooting.

Seth Aaron Ator, 36, who lived in the Odessa area, had been fired from his job at Journey Oilfield Services after a disagreement, according to Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke. The shooting rampage, which appears to have been random, ended when Ator was killed by police.

In this episode, I dig into one of my favorite culture war subjects: the battles in Texas over education.

For years, I’ve had a fascination with the fights Texans have had over education curriculum and textbooks.  This interest started with my research of the 1974 Kanawha County textbook controversy. 

When researching the events in Kanawha, I saw that a Texas couple named Mel and Norma Gabler came to Charleston to lend support to the textbook protesters.  At that point, the Gablers – a Mom and Pop team from Longview, TX – had more than a decade of experience of performing intensive reviews of public school textbooks.  Overtime, the couple would have a huge impact on what got into `– not just in Texas, but around the country.   

Trey Kay / Us & Them

  Texas students will be back in school soon and they’re going crack open some brand new social studies textbooks.  The books are the result of fierce fights over what kids should learn in school. Lots of American school districts struggle with this question, but nobody fights like Texans.

Saying that a Texas law barring same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and demeans the dignity of homosexuals, a federal judge struck down the law Wednesday. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia doesn't mean gay marriages can be held in Texas, however; he placed a stay on the decision, anticipating an appeal by the state.