More JeffCo students protest proposed history curriculum changes

· Sep. 22, 2014, 8:01 pm

More than 100 Evergreen High School students protested Monday morning over proposed changes to the curriculum in Jefferson County Schools.

Last week, a school board member proposed that advanced placement history classes be required to promote free enterprise and patriotism and be required to avoid classroom materials that encourage social strife or civil disobedience. Two high schools in Jefferson County closed Friday after dozens of teachers called in sick in protest.

Evergreen Senior Eric Temple took part in Monday's protest, which he says was organized over the weekend via Facebook. 

"When I saw the fact they were considering reviewing the AP U.S. History curriculum and what was taught, it just hit me," Temple says. "That was the best class I took. I wouldn’t allow anybody to alter that class."

In a letter to district Superintendent Dan McMinimee the students stated: "I want honesty in my classroom. Teachers want honesty in the classroom."

Four of the protestors met with McMinimee and four other district staff members. "They were pretty welcoming," Temple says.

Temple says the meeting went well, with the superintendent pledging to be more transparent about what is before the school board. "We made a lot of points,  they listened, and they said they would definitely talk to the board," Temple says.

Temple adds that he thinks student representation on the school board would be a good idea.

When asked how the students realized they could take action and protest, Temple says it could stem from the government class they're taking.  "We're learning we can definitely stand up for what we believe in."

The students were back in class by midday.

The school board made no decision on the proposal. More student-led walkouts are being planned on Facebook for this week, including at Arvada and Pomona high schools. A petition against the proposal on a been signed nearly 10,000 times. 

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