On Tuesday, more than 1,000 high schoolers in Jefferson County, Colorado very publicly said “No!” to conservative attempts to censor and rewrite history. Both students and teachers are protesting the removal of any mention of civil disobedience from AP History materials and tests with their own acts of civil disobedience.
CBS Denver reports that,
Students from several Jefferson County schools walked out of class Tuesday morning in the second straight day of protests. Approximately 500 students walked out at Arvada West High School and 400 at Arvada High School.
Approximately 300 students walked out at Golden High School and about 200 students went to the school offices in connection with the protest, according to Golden High School senior Riley McConnell.
The hundreds protesting at the school offices waved American flags and carried signs, including a message those who wish to censor their educational materials should hear: “There is nothing more patriotic than protest.”
The student demonstrations, planned over the weekend on Facebook, were an extension of teachers’ fight against the school board’s proposed changes. Teachers have been staging a “sick-out,” in which instructors would call in sick. The teachers’ efforts closed at least two schools the prior week.
The proposed changes would create a committee to review course materials, beginning with AP History, to ensure that they “promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights”and that they do not “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strike or disregard of the law.”
The plan was proposed by three newly elected conservative members of a five-person board. The other two members oppose the plan.
“Students at my school plan to walk out of classes in protest of the Jeffco school board’s new proposed Advanced Placement U.S. History Curriculum Revision Committee which aims to teach students to become more ‘patriotic’ and less ‘rebellious’ by portraying the history of our country in a better light,” Arvada West High School senior Jack Shefrin said in a statement.
“I don’t think my education should be censored. We should be able to know what happened in our past,” said another student who protested outside Ralston Valley High School.
Another student protester said that civil disobedience is the very foundation of our nation, “and everything that we’ve done is what allowed us to be at this point today. And if you take that from us, you take away everything that America was built off of.”
The students presented a letter to school superintendent Dan McMinimee on Monday that read, in part, “I want honesty in my classroom. Teachers want honesty in the classroom.”
Until they are sure that conservatives will not ruin their history classes, students say they will continue to protest.