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Utah School Permits Students to Not Participate in Black History Month Curriculum

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A charter school in Utah is receiving backlash after allowing parents to have their children opt-out of Black History Month.

What We Know:

  • Maria Montessori Academy in North Ogden, Utah, has opened a debate on whether or not parents have the option to excuse their children from lessons on Black history. According to the school’s director, Micah Hirokawa, a ‘few’ families had requested not to participate in any curriculum related to Black History Month.
  • On Friday, Hirokawa released a statement via the school’s Facebook page to confirm that he had sent out a letter that allowed families “to exercise their civil rights to not participate in Black History Month at the school.”

In the statement, Hirokawa also claims he is deeply disappointed in the parents’ decision writing, “We should not shield our children from the history of our Nation, the mistreatment of its African American citizens, and the bravery of civil rights leaders, but should educate them about it.”

  • Maria Montessori Academy caters to educate elementary and middle school students. Throughout the month of February, the school incorporates Black history into its regular social studies and history lessons. Following a nation-wide backlash, the statement has since been recanted on another Facebook statement posted last Sunday.
  • Among those opposed to the original statement was Betty Sawyer, president of the NAACP’s Ogden branch. Sawyer contacted the school about its decision and considers it to have influenced their choices. Sawyer told USA Today, “Authentically teaching Black History as American History allows our youth to develop the social and emotional skills necessary to be inclusive of others and cultivates a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. While this decision was recently reversed, we find its very consideration troubling.”

The Utah State Board of Education shows the academy has a total of 322 students, and only three of those students are Black.

The post Utah School Permits Students to Not Participate in Black History Month Curriculum appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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