On its face, the student protests in Denver, Co., are about protesting a history curriculum that attempts to whitewash a history of civil disobedience and the right to protest. Instead, the new curriculum would advocate citizenship, patriotism, and the benefits of a free-market system. It sounds like a curriculum dreamed up by the Koch brothers themselves.
Underneath the thin veneer of proposed “positive” values, the issue is one of having a voice in the education that is available to students and the efforts to migrate education funds away from public schools.
Students have been joined by their teachers in an effort to make their voices heard now. What they are saying is that they have a right to have their voices heard when it comes to the education available to the community. It’s a message they feel the school board is ignoring.
Now the students are seeing wider support, not just from the teachers who have come out to protest with them, but are seeing support from elected officials and student unions in other areas, like Chicago, Utah and Florida.
It doesn’t matter whether the curriculum is criticized for being too liberal or being too conservative. What it can’t be is incomplete. Students, teachers, staff, citizens at large who are not taught that a very important part of American history, and really history at large, is the right to peacefully protest and petition for the redress of grievances by government would be stripped of the very tools to solve the problems they see.
That is simply unacceptable.