Students walked out of a Washington, D.C., charter school on Monday 2/2/15 to protest the treatment of three teachers they believe were punished for teaching too much black history.
All three of the social studies teachers at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science resigned last week, and students said the principalconfronted them in front of students, parents said.
The teachers were then escorted out of the building.
“They were all escorted out by police officers because they were trying to teach us things about our African heritage,” said seventh-grader Kameron Gains-Gillens.
Parents and students said the teachers were let go because they taught about black history beyond what was outlined in the curriculum, and they’re demanding answers from Principal Angelicque Blackmon.
Some of the parents met Wednesday with Blackmon, who they said had adopted the curriculum of Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools and had asked teachers not to discuss Kwanzaa and the late Mayor Marion Barry.
“The school administration does not want the social studies teachers to teach African-American history,” said parent Shannon Settle. “We are on the campus of an HBCU [Historically Black Colleges and Universities]. We need to know our culture; the school is 90 percent African-American.”
Members of the D.C. Council Education Committee said they were examining the claims made by students and parents.
Students met staged a protest outside the middle school, where they presented administrators a list of demands.
They asked for new social studies teachers who would be treated with respect and more communication from Blackmon, who parents and students said was “antisocial” and abrasive.
Students also asked administrators to show them less negative attention and stop tracking them for the “school to prison pipeline.”
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