Illinois state Rep. LaShawn K. Ford is proposing that public schools do away with current history curriculums that allegedly push white privilege and racism.
The Democratic lawmaker urged the Illinois State Board of Education to rework its criteria history classes. Ford also compelled schools to stop teaching the subject until adequate course revisions are made. Ford argued the state’s history curriculums do not sufficiently focus on contributions by women, members of Black, Jewish and LGBTQ communities, and other groups, according to a press release issued by his office and published by NBC Chicago.
Chicago Democrat La Shawn Ford calls for abolishing history classes and the removal of current history books. He claims they cause white privilege and racism. pic.twitter.com/rwAXtHSsip
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 9, 2020
“When it comes to teaching history in Illinois, we need to end the miseducation of Illinoisans,” Ford said in a statement included in the press release. “I’m calling on the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts to take immediate action by removing current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history.”
The release, titled “Rep. Ford Today in Evanston to Call for the Abolishment of History Classes in Illinois Schools,” contended that current history instruction drives white privilege and “a racist society.” While drafting more inclusive courses, Ford recommended schools teach students about government systems and their roles and rights within them.
The full news release:
Rep. Ford Today in Evanston to Call for the Abolishment of History Classes in Illinois Schools.
Concerned that current school history teaching leads to white privilege and a racist society, state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, will join local leaders today at noon at the Robert Crown Center in Evanston to call on the state to stop its current history teaching practices until appropriate alternatives are developed.
“When it comes to teaching history in Illinois, we need to end the miseducation of Illinoisans,” Ford said. “I’m calling on the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts to take immediate action by removing current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history. Until a suitable alternative is developed, we should instead devote greater attention toward civics and ensuring students understand our democratic processes and how they can be involved. I’m also alarmed that people continue to display symbols of hate, such as the recent display of the Confederate flag in Evanston.”
Attendees at Sunday’s press conference will discuss how current history teaching practices overlook the contributions by Women and members of the Black, Jewish, LGBTQ communities and other groups. These individuals are pushing for an immediate change in history-changing practice starting this school year.
“The miseducation of our children must stop,” said Meleika Gardner of We Will. “It is urgent that it comes to an end as we witness our current climate become more hostile. Miseducation has fed and continues to feed systemic racism for generations. If Black History continues to be devalued and taught incorrectly, then it will call for further action.”
Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty notes “As Mayor, I am not comfortable speaking on education, curriculum, and whether history lessons should be suspended. This is not my area. Personally, I support House Bill 4954 because I am interested in learning more and believe the history of Black people should be taught to all children and include all groups, Women, LatinX, and Native Indians who helped to build America.”
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