JeffCo Students Defending History Facebook page
“Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels – men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
by Thomas Gaist, WSWS
Hundreds of Jefferson County high school students walked out of their classes this week in response to a proposal submitted by members of the Jefferson County school board seeking to revamp the county’s US history curriculum.
Reports from local media confirmed that hundreds of students from Dakota Ridge, Chatfield, Arvada West, Pomona, Ralston Valley, Evergreen, Wheat Ridge, and Golden high schools participated in the walkouts and demonstrations which included the blocking of a main intersection in suburban Denver on Wednesday morning.
The proposal, submitted by a three-member majority of the school board calling itself the “Board Committee for Curriculum Review,” stated:
“Theories should be distinguished from fact. Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage. Content pertaining to political and social movements in history should present balanced and factual treatment of the positions.”
The walkouts came on the heels of a “sick-out” involving some 50 teachers on Friday, which was planned in response to the US history curriculum proposal and to new teacher evaluation measures.
A statement issued Monday by Conifer High School teachers participating in the sick-out denounced “the Board’s insistence on censoring the college preparatory AP US History curriculum,” saying it would “require teachers to completely ignore certain aspects of American history.” The statement further condemned the imposition of “an arbitrary, nontransparent evaluation system that vests absolute authority in administrators.”
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