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All-White Missouri School board have voted to remove Black history courses

School board have voted to remove Black history

All-White Missouri School board have voted to remove Black history courses. The Francis Howell School District school board in Missouri recently made a decision that’s causing quite a stir in the community.

They voted to remove two high school courses called “Black History” and “Black Literature.” These courses were introduced in 2021 as a response to concerns about discrimination within the school.

Now, the controversy around these courses revolves around the accusation that they include elements of something called critical race theory.

Reports are, Some people in the community have pointed to the curriculum being based on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning for Justice project. This project has goals like “dismantling white supremacy” and promoting human rights.

During the recent school board meeting, parents and students passionately spoke out against removing these courses. They accused the district of engaging in what they called “culture wars” and expressed concerns that personal opinions should not limit what students learn in school. One student emphasized their right to be educated on a variety of topics without facing ridicule.

On the other side of the debate, some people supported the school board’s decision. They argued that using the Southern Poverty Law Center standards in the curriculum was not approved by the board and, therefore, was improper. These supporters see the removal of the courses as fulfilling a promise made by the board to eliminate what they view as divisive ideological teachings.

In response to the decision, a petition has been circulating, gathering over 3,000 signatures. Those supporting the petition want the school board to reinstate the two courses. They argue that removing these courses deprives students of understanding crucial parts of American history and undermines the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This situation in Missouri is not happening in isolation. It connects to broader discussions happening across the country about what should be included in educational curricula. Critical race theory, in particular, has become a controversial topic, with some arguing that it promotes understanding racial disparities, while others claim it fosters division.


Earlier this year, the Francis Howell school board took another significant step. They rescinded an “anti-racism” resolution established in 2020, which declared racism a “crisis” in response to the tragic death of George Floyd. The board, in July, stated that there was no “proof” this resolution benefited students.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a key player in the creation of the now-removed courses, expressed concerns about the decision. They emphasized that choices like this harm all students, especially those whose identities and histories are reflected in the courses. The center defended its Learning for Justice standards, calling them a “road map for anti-bias education.”

As this debate unfolds, the impact on education and the broader conversation around diversity and inclusion in schools is becoming increasingly apparent. Communities are grappling with questions about what topics should be included in the curriculum and how to approach discussions around race and history.

The decision in Missouri reflects the ongoing tensions around these issues and the different perspectives on the role of certain ideologies in shaping what students learn in schools.


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