Jeffco board member speaks out amid protests

JEFFERSON COUNTY – For the fifth school day in a row, students from Jefferson County public schools walked out in protest.

"We're here, and we're ready to fight," Columbine student Jordan Gleason said.

At the heart of it all, changes to the teacher pay scale and conservative board member Julie Williams' proposal to create a review committee for AP US History courses. Williams says materials shouldn't condone or encourage civil disorder and social strife.

RELATED: Students threaten new type of protest in Jeffco

"I'm not saying let's not teach history accurately," Williams told 9News in a phone interview. "What I'm saying is let's not encourage our children to disobey the law."

When we asked for examples of historical events she fears are misrepresented, Williams couldn't point to one.

"I'm not familiar enough with everything that is in AP history to make that judgment," she said.

But in a recent press release, Williams said several historical figures were left out of the curriculum.

"Let me give you some examples of who is omitted," she wrote. "Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin with not even a mention of Martin Luther King, Jr."

AP US History authors say that's not exactly true. In a letter, the nine creators say the College Board guidance is not a full curriculum, but rather a frame for the topic. They wrote that they "did not think it necessary to specifically identify Martin Luther King Jr. among the post-war 'civil-rights' activists,' mentioned in the framework." The authors added that any "United States history course would of course include King as well as other major figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Dwight Eisenhower. These and many other figures of U.S. history did not appear in the previous AP framework, either, yet teachers have always understood the need to teach them."

Williams contends that review is necessary to make sure.

"All I am asking for is for a committee to tell us what is in it, and then it's up to the board to decide what is appropriate for our kids," Williams said.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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