After recent events in Ferguson, MO, I could not believe my eyes when I saw a tweet the other day for a petition against Jefferson County (CO) Public School Board’s censorship of curricula. Since the petition did not contain links to the controversial resolution and teacher-student peaceful protests, which the proposed curriculum review committee would prohibit referencing in classroom materials, I did a little research and confirmed for myself that this is really happening in the United States in 2014.
The primary issue at stake seems to be the censorship of curriculum, aka teaching materials. Since teaching materials include textbooks, software, websites and other media, this amounts to censorship in general, which is why you’re reading about this issue on a writing blog.
One easy way to break free of the censorship grip of elected officials is to homeschool. When you engage in homeschooling, you take back the power to decide who, what, when, where, why and how your children are taught, and give them a democratic voice in their education without enduring political struggle. My G+ friend Lindsey Clements is a prime example. Both a former member of the U.S. Navy and a Navy wife, she homeschools her two daughters using a variety of curricula, including Minecraft. She also allows her daughters to progress according to their curiosity and personal interests. When one daughter asked for a Biology text, Lindsey got online and sought book recommendations from her community, found some she liked and ordered one. The Biology studies took an interesting turn when Lindsey backed a crowdfunding for Period Panties. When the products arrived, the girls asked questions, and that became a teachable moment for female anatomy and physiology, aka reproduction, which extended into the plant kingdom. You just don’t get that freedom in public schools.
Like Ferguson, the Jefferson County (JeffCo) Public School Board situation arose as the direct result of electing officials who do not represent the interests of the public they serve. At this point, it seems the parents, teachers and students of JeffCo have some choices to make. I hope they strongly consider homeschooling. I must add that, if I were a JeffCo AP history teacher, I’d find a way to reward the students who demonstrated under the battle cry of “My school, My voice!” with extra credit for practicing nonviolent protest techniques in the tradition of MLK, Gandhi and Antonio French.
Jefferson County (JeffCo) Public Schools controversial resolution:
Texas Education Agency policy, from which the Colorado resolution was copied:
Colorado JeffCo PTA opposition to resolution:
Colorado teacher-student protest re curriculum censorship:
(c) 2014 Belinda Y. Hughes. All rights reserved.
Belinda Y. Hughes is the author of Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 2: Lacto Ovo Vegetarian Recipes. She also blogs on food, natural health, writing, editing and social media. Belinda is currently working on her first collection of erotic poetry, an LGBT cozy mystery and the third edition of her cookbook. She enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, meditation, yoga, reading and living in the country with her labradachs and wildlife friends.