Texas high school students in a college-level English class were recently assigned a research paper in which they had to discuss one of three controversial issues facing American culture: gender, race, or ethnicity.
The class, at Southwest High School in Forth Worth Independent School District (FWISD), offers both high school and college credit run by the University of Austin, Texas.
The first-year college writing course "aims to prepare students to become more effective in analyzing and producing arguments."
For each controversial topic – gender, race, and ethnicity – students were provided with recommended reading lists for research.
Among the titles was "How to Be an Antiracist," by Ibram X. Kendi, a humanities professor at Boston University. Titles in the "gender" reading list included works like "Witches: the Transformative Power of Women Working Together" and "Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights."
Fox News was told that students are encouraged but not forced to read the titles. The materials would seem to go against the parameters of Texas Senate Bill 3, a law passed last year which banned the teaching of critical race theory in schools.
Critical race theory, or "CRT," is a school of thought that focuses on how power structures and institutions impact racial minorities. It argues that race is a social construct that is weaponized by dominant groups to oppress others.
But because the class offers both high school and college-level credit, it is able to bypass the state law.
Eliska S. Padilla, UT Austin Issues and Communications Manager told Fox News Thursday that OnRamps "will address current law compliance and course integrity during required teacher professional development."
"All UT Austin dual credit, OnRamps courses, have been reviewed and redeveloped as needed to ensure compliance with SB3," Padilla said. "This assignment, as written by the university, calls for independent research and does not provide a booklist."
FWISD did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Textbooks and reading material in schools have been drawing greater scrutiny in recent years over their subject matter. Most recently, Florida's Department of Education (DOE) rejected more than 40% of mathematics textbooks submitted for use in the state's public schools, citing critical race theory and other issues with the texts.