American Ideals Processing: Current Events

In Colorado, a Student Counterprotest to an Anti-Protest Curriculum

Summary and Link for Article:

     In the Jefferson County School District of Arvada, Colorado, the new board of education advocates for altered school guidelines emphasizing patriotism, respect for ascendancy, and censoring of material that encourages protesting. In rejection of such curriculum policies, hundreds, perhaps thousands of students in the district have begun protesting themselves outside of several high schools. The review bureau, which decides the curriculum aims and content for the AP US History classes, has realized how specific the decrees may turn out to be and agrees that change needs to be made. Students are upset because they feel they are being forced to have excessive pride for their country and what is taught is only centered around the United States' achievements and greatness; the education program doesn't mention the faults and errors in our ways. The protesting situation, along with the revision of the district policies, is yet to be solved, since these events are fairly recent, taking place around September 23, 2014.

Ideals Related to this Article:

          Several ideals can be identified in this article, but two that stand out are rights and liberty.  Rights are defined as "basic conditions guaranteed to everybody." One of our rights is the right to assemble in a crowd or group, especially for a specific purpose. We also have the right to voice our opinions and perspectives as long as we don't disturb others around us. Both of these rights are seen in this article. The students exited class and assembled outside of their high schools with signs and posters that expressed their disliking and honest opinions over the new AP US History curriculum. They used their right to assemble, and right to peacefully protest. Speaking of which, the new guidelines were against "civil disorder," or protesting. This is an example of a limitation that was put on the students, in which they used it against the district's board of education through their powerful right to protest. The other ideal is liberty, the freedom of being able to believe, think, or act upon or for something without being constrained by unnecessary force. In this situation, the review committee enforced statutes that prevented the upbringing or presence of material having to do with protesting, an example of civil disorder. This essentially restricts the students' methods of being able to communicate their ideas about what is going on in the school district, what they feel about the current situation, and even other opinions in general. The limitation can be consider unnecessary and liberty has prevailed over regulations such as this in the district. The idea of patriotism is also perceived as a hindrance in terms of liberty to how students should think and act. Patriotism is loyalty towards one country, and some students may not necessarily have this, nor do they enjoy the constant focus on the United States' glory and history. Some want to learn about the darker side of history, faults and lows, etc., and this is okay as ensured by liberty.

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