During the past week, high school students throughout the city of Denver, Colorado, have been walking out of their classes in an effort to protest changes in curriculum by the Jefferson County School Board for their Advanced Placement United States history lessons.
Hundreds of students from multiple high schools in the area with a variety of signs lined the streets last Tuesday and Wednesday arguing that the history of their country should not be censored and kept from them.
Controversial subjects such as slavery, women’s suffrage and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II are just a few of the topics up for removal from lesson plans in an effort to portray the United States in more of a positive manner.
At the end of the week, teachers were calling in sick and students organized a protest that Friday.
Although nothing has been set in stone yet, the fact that our history is being almost altered just to make our country look more respectful is a scary thought.
If the government is trying to make changes in the curriculum of high school students, we can only wonder how this will affect what will be taught to college students in the future.
How are we supposed to learn from our past mistakes if we choose to ignore them? History is bound to repeat itself if we just shut these topics out completely and pretend they never happened. Our students deserve to know exactly what went on, no matter how good or bad it makes the United States look.
These events are the heart of our history, and the people who fought for these rights, grieved during the wars, and lost family members and friends deserve to be recognized and respected.
The Jefferson School Board hopes to introduce more topics that promote obedience, patriotism and respect for authority, and while pride for our country is definitely something that should be promoted, teaching “obedience” to young adults seems extreme.
Events such as this force me to think of those classic novels from high school, George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” both are centered around a society where the government chooses what exactly is taught to the citizens of the world. Though I do think this is an extreme comparison, this does make me question if our fate will be anything similar to this if our history curriculums become more and more censored.
No matter how hard anyone tries, you cannot rewrite our history. It is a person’s right as a citizen of this country to know the whole truth about what happened and it really upsets me that our government is attempting to take that away from us.
The disorder and strife that fellow Americans suffered through in the past is something that shouldn’t be hidden. It is not right to virtually erase the people who were an essential component to how the U.S. is today. If you eliminate something from a textbook that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.