Mandate for Honest History in Classrooms

Mandate for Honest History in Classrooms

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Oneness-Family High School started this petition to Educators and

Please add your signature to our petition to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona:

We are the students of Oneness-Family High School, an independent Montessori school in Kensington, Maryland, and we thank you for taking the time to read our community’s letter, along with all of the signatures in support of our call to action.

In February, 2021, Maria Montessori Academy, a charter school in Ogden, Utah made headlines, when they gave parents the right to opt out of learning about Black history. We write to you today in an effort to express our disappointment, frustration, and embarrassment at the decisions made by Maria Montessori Academy in Utah, but also to urge you to advocate for nation-wide legislation mandating accurate and representative curricula in social studies classes, including information about the challenges and contributions of people of color. After reading our letter, we hope that you will take a stand in defending and amplifying a more inclusive range of the stories that are told about our country within America’s classrooms.

As an international Montessori school, we have always done our best to honor the values of diversity and inclusion. The recent position of Maria Montessori Academy, that parents could decide to keep their children blind to the experiences, contributions, and centrality of Black history to the broader story of America, is the embodiment of discrimination.

Although the school retracted their decision after widespread public pressure, this policy exhibits the chokehold that White bias has over the stories we tell about our country. The public school classroom is supposed to be designed for everyone, yet time and time again we see that our nation is not living up to this standard. Every child from every background needs to see themselves in American history. If students of color leave the classroom still wondering what their people’s contribution or place in America is, then the schools have failed them. Sadly, this has been the norm for most of American history: by limiting the stories we tell, our schools have failed to give students of color the same hopes and dreams and aspirations that they so eagerly spoon feed to White people. White students also suffer, by missing the fuller picture of our nation’s history.

First and foremost, school is a place for young people to grow in their understanding of themselves and the people and world around them. We, as a country, cannot expect to have children grow into healthy and happy versions of themselves when we are only feeding them stories meant to valorize and lift up one square of the American tapestry. In order to achieve this dream, our classrooms must embrace a truly representative American history, weaving the experiences and contributions of Black Americans and all Americans of color throughout the curriculum. Until schools have taken this step, whether as a result of legislative pressure, campaigns from their elected and community officials, or an example set by their
Secretary of Education, progress will forever feel out of reach.

We formally request that you, as Secretary of Education, set the example by mandating in every state inclusive, honest history curricula in school, regardless of the type of school: public, public charter or private). Please act.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!