A mere 30 minute drive from where I live, people are learning that teenagers know and care about issues more than adults would expect. Jeffco students from multiple different high schools have walked out of classes in order to protest a change to the AP U.S. History standards in their county. As it has explained by a board member, the changes to the current curriculum would “present positive aspects of the United States,” “promote patriotism,” and “should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.” If I was a high school student and my county was trying to make these changes, I’d be walking out too. So, in support of the protests, I’ve decided to go political/historical for a post.
History is told by the victors, so usually we ignore the negative aspects of any historical events. Anybody else is painted in a negative light and we are viewed as the heroes. Well, believe it or not, the United States has made many mistakes in the past. I believe that we won’t learn from our mistakes unless we are taught about them. In recognition of that, here is my list of the top 10 mistakes that the United States has made:
10) Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission.
9) The extension of the Patriot Act.
8) The Salem Witch Trials.
7) Medals of Honor at Wounded Knee Creek.
6) Operation Paperclip.
5) Japanese internment camps.
4) The trail of tears.
3) The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
2) Dred Scott vs Sandford.
1) Uh, slavery.
Taking it a step further, there are several times where civil disobedience was the only way which change could be made. Even St Augustine recognized that “An unjust law is no law at all.” So, when the government is unwilling to listen, the citizens have and will continue to take it into their own hands. This shouldn’t be ignored. Here the top 10 greatest instances of civil disobedience which would be bowdlerized by this change in curriculum:
10) Environmental Movements.
9) The U.S. Postal Strike.
8) Nurse-In Protests.
7) Women Strike for Peace in the 60s/Anti-Nuclear protests.
6) Greensboro and Nashville sit-ins.
5) Anti-Vietnam War Protests.
4) Rosa Parks refusing to move from her seat/The Montgomery Boycott.
3) Susan B. Anthony illegally voting in the House of Representatives election.
2) The Boston Tea Party.
1) The Underground Railroad and everything the anti-slavery movements represented.
All in all, I support the walk-outs that the students are holding. They are strong in their convictions and they prove that students actually care about their education. They care about learning diversity and true history. And even though many of them are missing classes for this, it is better than sitting in a class where you are being spoon fed fake tales about how we are infallible and the best in the world. Newsflash, being cocky never helped anybody. It usually just made them negligent and careless.