(NationalUSNews.com) — The Francis Howell School Board in Missouri announced on December 21 that they were removing the optional Black History and Black Literature courses from their district’s offerings, but following a backlash from the public and special interest groups, they partially reversed their decision on December 28. While students may still take such courses, the board will be requiring a new rigorous and “largely politically neutral” curriculum to be developed and approved.
Critics of the previous curriculum say that it was developed using the social justice standards developed by the leftwing civil rights activism group, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and that it examines the subjects using a Critical Race Theory (CRT) lens. While supporters of CRT say that it is not taught in K-12 schools, critics contend that students do not have to be expressly told they will be using a CRT framework for the class to be structured using CRT as a guiding directive throughout the subject.
In 2020, the Francis Howell School Board voted to support an anti-racism resolution to signal their dedication to nondiscrimination on various axes at their schools. The board rescinded that resolution in July and removed the statements from school displays. They have said they may consider voting in a new one, but the board’s vice president, Randy Cook, suggested that the board is not in the business of creating division in the community.
School boards and their elections have become more contentious in the past few years as a struggle between what people in education believe students should learn and what parents want for their children sometimes clashes. While both sides always claim they want what is best for the students, activists seem to be getting in between the two parties and pushing for whatever is best for their cause without regard to the families. Heather Fleming, founder of the Missouri Equity Education Partnership, which is a left-wing educational activism group that focuses on equity and antiracism, claims there is no way to teach black history and black literature in a politically neutral manner.
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