GOLDEN, Colo. - Students, parents and teachers in suburban Denver vow to continue demonstrating against a school board's new conservative majority after it refused to back off plans to review Advanced Placement U.S. history courses for what some board members see as anti-American content.
The Jefferson County Board of Education voted Thursday night to lay the groundwork for a review of curriculum, with the AP history course likely the first to get a deeper look. Board member Julie Williams, who proposed the history review, said she wants to make sure the class is balanced.
The elective course has been criticized by the Republican National Committee and the Texas State Board of Education, which has told teachers not to teach according to the course's new framework. Being taught for the first time this year, it gives greater attention to the history of North America and its native people before colonization and their clashes with Europeans, but critics say it downplays the settlers' success in establishing a new nation.
The Colorado board didn't vote on its original proposal to review the history course with an eye toward promoting patriotism and downplaying social disorder - language students have blasted in school-time protests across the district, Colorado's second-largest. However, students and other activists say the board's new approach to include students on existing curriculum review committees doesn't satisfy them because they believe board members will ultimately try to change the history course to suit their views.
"This isn't over," said Ashlyn Maher, 18, a Chatfield High senior who has been helping organize protests over the past two weeks. "We are going to fight until we see some results."