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Colorado Student Walkout: Hundreds Protest US History Curriculum Proposal

Image: Colorado Student Walkout: Hundreds Protest US History Curriculum Proposal
Students take part in a walkout in protest outside Arvada West High School in Arvada, Colorado. (Matthew Staver /Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 11:05 AM

Hundreds of Colorado high school students in the suburban Denver area walked out of class earlier this week in protest of a school board curriculum proposal that would, ironically, prohibit lessons on civil disobedience.

The Denver Post reported that students from at least five Jefferson County schools participated in the walkout Tuesday on the heels of a teacher-led protest Friday that saw two county schools close after 50 educators called out sick.

The core issues are a new, evaluation-based system of awarding raises for teachers and a new advanced placement history curriculum that mandates, "Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife, or disregard of the law," according to KUSA.com.

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Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee reiterated that both policies are still in the proposal stage, but said he welcomes the feedback from students.

"I respect the right of our students to express their opinions in a peaceful manner. I do, however, prefer that our students stay in class. I have offered to meet with any students and answer their questions," he told KUSA. "I think that's healthy to hear when you put something out there. I think it's healthy to hear that . . . But, I am hoping that now that kids feel that they've done this that now we can go back to school as normal."

Protesting students told the Post that the school board seems to be putting politics ahead of education in its proposals.

"We want the JeffCo board to listen and pay attention to the community," senior Jack Shefrin, who helped organize the walkout online, told the newspaper. "Most people feel their needs are not being met by the board."

Some students told the newspaper that, while some of their parents and teachers encouraged them to voice their opinions, others did not talk about the issue at all.

"An idea is to censor U.S. history so they can't talk about some of the negatives, or they don't want to talk about civil disobedience, which is censorship," Arvada West junior Cole Cuttitta told KMGH-TV. "And censorship's communism, censorship's national socialism, censorship is terrible."

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Hundreds of Colorado high school students in the suburban Denver area walked out of class earlier this week in protest of a school board curriculum proposal that would, ironically, prohibit lessons on civil disobedience.
colorado, student, walkout, protest
399
2014-05-25
Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 11:05 AM
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