This week some families in Arvada, Colo., are bringing one of nation’s founding principles, civil disobedience, back into vogue by supporting their kids in a district-wide student walkout in protest of a new school board curriculum policy that could keep teachers from sharing much of our nation’s history of acts of civil disobedience.
According to The New York Times reporting from Arvada, “A new conservative school board majority here in the Denver suburbs recently proposed a curriculum-review committee to promote patriotism, respect for authority and free enterprise and to guard against educational materials that ‘encourage or condone civil disorder.’”
In response, hundreds of students, teachers and parents from high schools across the Jefferson County school district, the second largest in Colorado walked out of school, the Times reported. “Sympathetic parents brought poster board, magic markers and bottles of water,” according to the Times…
It’s worth a look at what our nation would miss if the Arvada school board did get a chance to remove from the curriculum all events that inspired, what they describe as today’s “educational materials that encourage or condone civil disorder.”
First to go might be the Boston Tea Party (the original one, not today’s national conservative political movement of the same name) leading to the War for Independence…
However, since The Tea Party was also an act of “free enterprise” it might make the cut. If the Tea Party was kept, the school board might instead choose to remove all the anti-war movements involving acts of civil disobedience.
In that case, they could stop teaching the works of Henry David Thoreau, who famously went to jail for refusing to participate in the US war against Mexico in 1849…
Since “civil disorder” is how women got the vote, the board could zap away all references to the US Women’s Suffrage movement which lasted from 1848 to 1920, a time during which thousands of women marched in the streets and were arrested to gain the right to vote.
And one of the most important historical movements in recent history, the civil rights movement, most notably represented by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., wouldn’t have a chance, because it was all about sit-ins and protests that chipped away at segregation.
Nothing new about conservatives burning books – or in the style of groups endorsed by the Koch Brothers [the Arvada School Board], preventing students from access to books and thoughts that encourage independence.
They want tidy obedient little minds to roll out of employee production units – instead of anyone with the potential to fight for human progress and free thought.
There were lots of obedient little minds in Nazi Germany. They were considered Good Germans by the Reichsführer.