Friday, September 26, 2014

Student Protests near Columbine High School: Massive Walk-Out!

Denver Students Protest: Massive Walk-Out!

The massive student protests taking place, inspired by the school closings last week after 50 Teachers called in sick or took a personal day. Although the Teachers contend that their absence was scheduled and planned, that proper notice was given, and that substitutes should have been in place, two High Schools closed. This action that was intended to raise community awareness served to inspire the protests that followed.

Many students in an act of protest walked out of classrooms all around Denver. Angered over a conservative-led school board whose aim is to focus history instruction content on points of Citizenship, Patriotism and Respect for Authority. The students view this as brainwashing. White-washing history and psychological conditioning, processes that distort true history.

Students said their protest was successfully organized by word of mouth and the use of Social Media. Numerous parents and students waved American Flags, banners and signs.

Protesters carried flags and signs that read, “There is nothing more patriotic than protest.”
“I don’t think my education should be censored. We should be able to know what happened in our past,” “No to US History Censorship” “Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but The Truth” and more.

The school board recommendation calls for instructional materials that present positive parts of the country and its legacy. The School Board plan, is to form committees to regularly review texts and course material, starting with Advanced Placement history, to make sure the curriculum promotes Citizenship, Patriotism, Essentials and Benefits of the Free-Market System, Respect for Authority and Respect for Individual Rights” and don’t “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

The proposal from Julie Williams who is part of the conservative majority, has not been voted on yet and has been put on hold .

Julie Williams - “There are things we may not be proud of as Americans,” she said. “But we shouldn’t be encouraging our kids to think that America is a bad place.”

Students from Conifer, Columbine, Lakewood, Bear Creek and Dakota Ridge high schools all walked out of school Thursday and Standley Lake High School was closed Friday. Students are planning an all-district walkout next week.

Issues of censorship are nothing new and it should be appreciated that the students know enough to know what's going on and want to voice their opinions and be heard, to make positive change for the better.

The real problem is when a power structure in place goes too far and when they deviate from standards already in place in other states. What most people don't realize is that many states use different teaching methods and texts and that the learning from these texts is not consistent, but instead quite distorted. What we see happening today in Colorado should inspire a collective awareness. The problems may never be fully resolved until there are National standards in place that Local School Boards can't ignore.
These problems are seen elsewhere and it appears to be a priority of the conservative order to meddle and distort the truth, to omit or whitewash American History. There has been controversy in Texas and South Carolina as well, but not to the extent that we see today occurring in Jefferson County of Colorado.

What happens next remains to be seen and will largely be determined by how much students feel they are being listened to, and whether the school district does anything acceptable to amend their original proposals.

The movement with their slogan "It's our history, don't make it a mystery" has drawn national attention and will probably continue for some time. Let's hope the School Board gets the message and make changes that will be acceptable for all.

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