Students Walk Out Across Jefferson County

ralstonvalleyprotest Photo via Twitter

pomonaprotestr2

The backlash against the new right wing Jefferson County Board of Education's proposed "curriculum review committee," intended by conservative board members to ensure the district's history courses promote "citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority," and "presents positive aspects of the United States and its heritage," continues today as hundreds of students walked out of Jeffco high schools in protest. As the Denver Post's Jesse Paul reports:

The walk-out followed a similar protest Monday by at least 100 Evergreen High School students who left classes to voice their opinions at the county's school administration building. On Friday, two county schools closed after 50 teachers either called in sick or used a personal day.

Tensions have been mounting in the school district as students and teachers push back against district leadership. Community members are angry about an evaluation-based system for awarding raises to educators and a proposed curriculum committee that calls for promoting "positive aspects" of the United States and its heritage and avoiding material that would encourage or condone "civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law."

A slate of conservative candidates took control of the board last year and hired a new superintendent, Dan McMinimee, to replace the veteran Cindy Stevenson. Stevenson resigned and left earlier than planned, saying her work was being impeded by the board majority.

Walk-outs Tuesday happened at Arvada West, Pomona, Ralston Valley, Wheat Ridge and Golden high schools.

These highly visible protests, just a few months after similar protests of the hiring of Douglas County's Dan McMinimee as the district's superintendent but by all accounts much larger, pose a considerable and unforeseen political risk to Republicans in Colorado's electoral bellwether population center. The connection between the conservative board majority proposal to "examine" history curriculum with openly political goals and Republicans on the ballot in Jefferson County is very easy to draw. The close family ties between board member Julie Williams and Republican SD-16 candidate Tim Neville are a matter of record, as well as extended ties between Williams and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners-endorsed Jeffco legislative candidates like Tony Sanchez and Laura Waters Woods.

Bottom line: the Jeffco board's history curriculum review proposal could well alienate independent voters from Republicans in Jefferson County and perhaps elsewhere. Even where one might not agree with Democrats on everything, something that looks like an attempt to manipulate public school instruction for political purposes is repellent in a way that crosses political lines. Outside a conservative diehard bloc that isn't troubled, this all seems terribly…

In a word, un-American.

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    Oh my….the children of the villagers are approaching with pitchforks and torches.  Do you think they resent efforts by their tea bagging school board to instill in them believes that the earth is flat and only 6,500 years old, or that woman was created from man's rib, or that Columbus "discovered" the new world because God intended for the Spanards to civilize the heathens?

    • DawnPatrol says:

      Also, Jesus rode a dinosaur, though their "bible" fails to mention precisely which species. Must have got lost, along with those passages about not lying, cheating, stealing, killing, bearing false witness, and the requirement to tend to the sick, the poor and the suffering.

  2. ArvadaProgressive says:

    I noticed that my old high school, Arvada Senior High wasn't mentioned on that list with the other schools. They were lined up protesting on all four sides of the intersection of Wadsworth and 66th Avenue throughout the day. All in all I was proud to see such a strong response from teachers and students today, and my car horn got quite a workout!

  3. It is too late for the JeffCo School Board. These students have already been indoctrinated with Liberal Nazi/Socialist propaganda. They have learned the anti-American technique of the walk-out and will soon move to heavier abuse such as joining a union.

    Obviously a more thorough revision of the school curriculum is needed – by the time they reach AP History they've already learned to think for themselves too much.

  4. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Well, that explains why so many kiddies from Green Mountain High School were all over the sides of West Alameda a few hours ago. They do need some sign-painting lessons though. When I drove by twice, the signs couldn't really be read. 

  5. Miss Jane says:

    Let's lower the voting age!  It seems to be quite the thing… and it makes a certain amount of sense.

    www. fairvote.org.  We saw that Scotland had quite the turn out, as well. Many of our kids are harder to propagandize. 

  6. skeptical citizen says:

    Peaceful civil disobedience in action because they want to learn about the history of civil disobedience and become well-rounded citizens, and not tea-bagger-droids.

  7. DawnPatrol says:

    I am so proud of these young adults!

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don't stand in the doorway
    Don't block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There's a battle outside
    And it's ragin'
    It'll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    — Bob Dylan

  8. BlueCat says:

    Proud of all the students and parents who are keeping this in the news and bringing attention to how important largely low profile school board elections really are. Thanks to their efforts maybe next time, more people will pay attention.

  9. Sunmusing says:

    We must be forever vigilent when it comes to our children's education…the wingers have no qualms about forcing their indoctrination upon our kids…We, in Delta County, have our own winger board…and we are watching, and being, vigilent…

  10. Early Worm says:

    Political satire can be a powerful weapon to expose truth. Checkout #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory.  My favorites so far:

    Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is a great American story of capitalism and savory meat products. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory

     

    The humpback whale was brought back from extinction thanks to Capt. James T. Kirk, a good Iowa boy. #jeffcoschoolboardhistory

  11. Progressicat says:

    The student protests made the NY TImes.

  12. DaninDen says:

    What is the "AP" history  refered to in news stories, by BM Williams?

    agree it could ( & should) alienate Jeffco ind voters

    Bottom line: the Jeffco board's history curriculum review proposal could well alienate independent voters – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/63097/students-walk-out-across-jefferson-county#sthash.wF9qRJDt.dpuf

    • If you're asking what AP History is, it's Advanced Placement History, a US History course for advanced students that follows state/local curriculum guidelines, but with an extra set of guidelines developed nationally in order to simulate the level of learning one might get from a History 101 course in college. At the end of the course, students may take an AP History exam, which is scored on a 5-point scale. Colleges may accept the test results as credit for a history course (or perhaps even more than one course if the grade is high enough and the college's curriculum supports such an award).

      Generally, AP History tackles US History as a history scholar might – by reviewing period (and after-the-fact) documents and evaluating their worth in creating a true narrative of history. Is the source a witness to the event? What bias does the source have? How does that bias possibly skew the portrayal of the event? How does it fit in with other documents of the event? What might the overall narrative be?

      So AP History teaches you to be wary of biased news sources, encourages you to look for multiple viewpoints and evaluate each honestly and separately, and encourages you to look at things through the lens of truth. Not generally something under which today's conservatives look good.

    • Progressicat says:

      The "AP" is for "Advanced Placement," a program managed by the College Board (who also manages the SAT).  The course is followed by a test that many colleges accept for credit and placement (say, skipping the first required history course for general ed).

      Ms. Williams on the Jeffco board beleive that the College Board is "breaking history" for resasons outlined in another article on this site.

    • DaninDen says:

      How would shrink & drown (Govt) in a bathtub be tought? There are no "young Repulicans" since Rove, Norquist, Reed went to school, not to be educated, but tear down government. Teach them that a trillion dollars in student loan debt is their future due to banksters and austerity driven tea bangers. Too broke to buy houses or cars; further examples of the wheels coming off 

      Bob Dylan, "look out kid,they keep it all hid."

  13. mamajama55 says:

    #JeffcoSchoolBoardHistory on twitter – still the funniest stuff around.

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