Target: Superintendent Dan McMinimee
Goal: Encourage protest of skewed history lessons and discourage censorship in history books
A bold movement has recently taken place in Colorado. Hundreds of students and faculty in Jefferson County, Colorado, have walked out of history classrooms and sent letters to the school board, among other protests, in attempts to stop censorship of textbooks. The students and faculty rightly feel that censoring textbooks is dangerously biased and insist that all of history be taught—even if the lesson is that of citizen unrest and anger with political systems.
Since the addition of three conservative individuals on Jefferson County’s school board, traditional curriculum has been tested. The recent curriculum under fire is the national Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. history classes. In one day, over 1,000 students and staff members walked out of classrooms in many schools within Jefferson County to protest academic suppression. According to a letter presented to the superintendent, students and staff want honesty in textbooks. The conservative sector of the school board insists that history teachers and texts should teach nationalism, deference of free markets and respect of authority. According to the three right-leaning board members, only patriotism shall be taught in history classes and any mention of civilian disobedience promptly removed.
Conservatives across the nation oppose the national AP history curriculum, fearing that the texts cater to liberal interpretation. Teachers and students understand that civilian disobedience is an incredibly important part of America’s history and that questioning corporations and their motives is necessary for healthy progression. The students and staff of Jefferson County are demanding truth be taught, and they are deserving of truth, as is the rest of the country. Applaud these students and staff in a direct letter to the county’s superintendent in attempts to stand with the protesters and end academic suppression.
Dear Superintendent McMinimee,
Recently, over 1,000 students and faculty members walked out of classrooms all over Jefferson County in protest of academic suppression. As you know, the county school board is insistent on only teaching patriotism in AP History courses, deliberately excluding any mention of civilian disobedience. The school board is nervous about students questioning corporations or their government. However, this fear is not reason enough to censor history textbooks.
Civilian disobedience—action against government and corporate policy—is incredibly pertinent knowledge for understanding America’s history. Catering only to conservative values is biased and immoral. I stand with the students and faculty of Jefferson County in protest of the removal of important happenings in history. I urge you to forward this petition, along with the signatures it generates, to the school board and each school involved in the protest to let them know that we support their efforts in fighting academic suppression.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: justgrimes via Flickr