LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4/AP) — Jefferson County high school students upset about an expected review of the Advanced Placement U.S. history protested again, but not by walking out of class.
Students from schools around the county held a rally Saturday afternoon in Littleton’s Clement Park.READ MORE: Gov. Jared Polis: Weekly $300 Pandemic Unemployment Payments Will Continue In Colorado
The students, joined at the rally with parents, say the new conservative majority on the school board is ignoring overwhelming opposition to the proposed history review. They’re not satisfied with the board’s decision to add teachers and students to curriculum committees that would handle the review.
PHOTO GALLERY: Jeffco Students Protest
The newly revised AP U.S. history class gives greater attention to the history of North America and its native people before colonization and their clashes with Europeans. Critics say it downplays the settlers’ success in establishing a new nation.
Protests and teacher “sick outs” forced schools in the county to close in recent weeks.
“Those who don’t study the past are doomed to repeat it. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to see another civil war,” Chatfield High School senior Ashlyn Maher said.
Teachers and community leaders also joined in the rally.
“People feel like they have their own ideological agenda. That’s all they’re interested in, and that the means justify the ends. And we’re interested in the means, because the means are the education of the kids,” teacher Rob Phillips said.READ MORE: I-70 Westbound Closed: RV Catches Fire And Rolls Backwards, Ignites Semi Truck Near Genesee
“I really think it’s un-American to try to censor what our children are learning,” concerned citizen Beth Hammer said.
“Getting a good score and a good grade in that class helps her get to college. And for the majority of the board to go after and try to shut down courses like that is just unacceptable,” parent Doug Zimmerman said.
Some of the opposition to the student rally were escorted off park grounds.
“Personnel and union issues are being brought into the classroom,” said concerned citizen Jen Raiffie, who was asked to leave the rally.
“According to our ACT scores last year, 55 percent of our juniors are not college and career ready. That should be our focus,” Jefferson County School Board President Ken Witt said.
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