Hundreds of Denver students walked out of their classrooms last week in protest of a new conservative school policy. To change their history curriculum to subject matter that “promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights.” Students will only be taught lessons depicting American heritage in a positive light, and any material that could lead to dissent will be banned.
Students involved in the walkout contend that censored coursework actually contradicts American history and ideals. Teachers are opposing this reform and argued that protest is a crucial aspect of American history.
Similar reforms are mushrooming countrywide. In 2010, Arizona passed a bill that banned ethnic studies and prevented teachers with thick accents from instructing students. More recently, South Carolina conservatives asked the College Board, which is responsible for Advanced Placement curricula, to exclude any material with a perceived ideological bias, such as lessons about evolution. Schools in Texas are trying to incorporate textbooks that distort climate science.
So, arguably, protest-facing curriculum reforms are not only a thing of radical islamic groups. Student-led demonstrations clearly manifest that students nowadays want to be active agents in educational policy making.
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