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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Colorado students take history in own hands

Thomas Jefferson said the cornerstone of democracy was a well-informed electorate. A school board in Colorado doesn’t agree.

The Jefferson County School Board in Colorado decided to review its advanced placement American history curriculum to weed out potentially unpatriotic themes in the course .

Students within the district understandably opposed the bastardization of their education and organized walkouts in protest .

The school board wants to review curriculum to make sure it encourages patriotism and respect for authority and individual rights but does not overemphasize perceived negative ideas such as civil disobedience.

If the purpose of this review was to maintain relevancy and accuracy, no one would be batting an eye.

However, the blatant ?attempt to manipulate the education of students into promoting a faultless America is a disservice to their ?education.

History is already very subjective.

So much about what we know from the past is tainted in bias and selective information.

As the saying goes, the winners write the history books, and we have often been the winners.

To remove the few mistakes that we do allow ourselves to acknowledge would be erasure of our country’s many flaws and would only hurt us in the long run.

The truth is, people learn from the mistakes of the past. If we remove those mistakes from students’ education, their education will leave them ignorant.

Censoring the education of Colorado students will do more harm than unpatriotic facts in a history book.

We should be teaching students that it is better to acknowledge your flaws so that you can deal with them than to pretend they don’t exist and hope they will go away.

Civil disobedience in the past — such as the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, the anti-war movements, etc. — has been a reflection of deep-seated flaws within our society.

But these movements were positive because without the recognition of those flaws and the action to rectify them, our country would have stagnated at the level of racism, sexism and religious exclusivity with which it was founded.

Teaching these movements in school isn’t anti-American.

Instead, it showcases one of the most important parts of being an American: the freedom of speech and protest and the responsibility to improve your country.

It is patriotic to want to better the country you live in. It is manipulative to try and whitewash and sugarcoat a history of violence and ?mistakes.

The Colorado school board has no right to deny their students the knowledge they need to understand the complicated history of the nation they are inheriting.

Luckily, the students who staged walkouts already understand the importance of civil protest in protecting individual rights and throwing off tyranny.

There is no goal more patriotic than that.

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