The bold protest of Jefferson County, Colorado students to the actions of the conservative majority on the Jefferson County School Board in Colorado has already drawn national and international press.
Yet the school board is still proceeding with a curriculum review committee that would not just examine AP History, but would have the ability to review and change many courses, including English, Health, and Science. Organizations funded by the Koch brothers support such candidates, and would benefit from curriculum that not only promotes what the Board is considering ‘American Exceptionalism’ but also avoids questions related to Global Warming or Climate Change.
But this goes deeper — this could threaten critical thinking in the classroom.
This could not only impact Jefferson County students, but could affect all students in the country.
On October 11, 2014 students held a rally at Clement Park in Littleton, Colorado — adjacent to Columbine High School. There, they began collecting names for a potential recall.
Ashlyn Maher, Thomas Sizemore and Mali Holmes
“We are not a political agenda, and we’re not a profit margin; we are students that need to be educated.”
This issue is not just important for Colorado, but the nation. If anything the Koch Brothers have shown us, is that once they have succeeded with a conservative agenda, they will replicate that agenda everywhere they can.
There is a saying in Colorado elections, as Jefferson County goes, so goes Colorado.
Jefferson County is the biggest county and usually its voters are the pivotal votes in a statewide election. With Ballots going out as of this week – how will the extreme actions of the School Board impact the races for Governor and the even the US Senate?
And will that also be a referendum on the conservative effort to white wash our History and censor our Public Education curriculum?
Here is the extended rally video — where Colorado’s Lieutenant Governor (who is also an educator), Joe Garcia, dropped by to lend his support for the students.
From Mali Holmes — student from Evergreen High School:
Since our protest began, we’ve been featured in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and the New York Times. We’ve been covered by the Guardian and other International news outlets.
America is listening. We won’t be taken down so easily. Like pawns, the students are on the front lines of this issue. We will stand together and fight until we win this battle.
We will be the ones to call ‘Checkmate‘.
Professor Chad Kautzer of University of Colorado at Denver:
I just have one thing to say to (the Jefferson County Majority)
I have a feeling if they don’t resign, the people of Jefferson County will push them out.
Because they are an embarrassment to Jefferson County, they are an embarrassment to Colorado, they are an embarrassment to our Country and they need to go.
Everything bad in American History has been coupled with social struggles and these are the people that we need to read about, that we have to learn about, and we need to honor that history.
Rachel Hillbrecht of Golden High School:
We will not cut out History. We will not cut out Science classes. We need to know the truth every single piece of it!
The Jeffco School Board of Education has failed to do the single most important thing that any elected board has to do – to listen to its people.
We will not be censored. People did not die so that they could be erased. Jefferson County will not be erased. WE will stand together.
Lt. Governor Joe Garcia:
In high school, I had the opportunity to take AP History. In college, I had the opportunity to take Ethnic Studies. Those classes did not make us hate each other. They did not make us hate America. They made us hate oppression and injustice.
The students have given me hope and inspiration. Because these high school students now represent potentially a four-year block of students — from Freshman to Senior — that will associate the most important social education protest of their lives with Republican over-reach.
If you have been so inspired, then I will share with you this message from a parent of one of the students – a request.
“Recalls are expensive, right now, the Students don’t know if there is enough support from the community to go ahead with the effort. But maybe someone who reads your article might know someone like Matt Damon or Diane Ravitch or some other well connected person who would be willing to get behind the students with this effort.”
If you do now someone or feel this effort is worth supporting, please visit Jeffco Students for Change and like their page – let them know that they do have support for this effort.
Thanks also to Redfoxrun and to From Thin Air
who performed live at the event at Clement Park.