Make Juneteenth a part of Virginia's K-12 academic curriculum

Make Juneteenth a part of Virginia's K-12 academic curriculum

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Tia Turner started this petition to Tim Kaine and

Hello, my name is Litia Turner and I am a rising Junior in high school in the state of Virginia. I wrote a letter to the Virginia Department of Education calling on them to include Juneteenth in K-12 curriculum. I want this and other topics on African American history to be mentioned in school. Back in mid-June of 2020, Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam declared that he intends to mark Juneteenth as a permanent paid state holiday. 

What is Juneteenth? Many Americans celebrate their freedom on July 4th and call it Independence Day. However, that day was only liberation for people of European descent. Even during that time in history slaves still existed in America. It wasn’t until the 13th amendment was ratified and the people of Texas were informed that, a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, that all slaves are free. Texas’s Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger set out the order to set all slaves free. Texas was the last state to do so, which the news of the proclamation was slowly spreading to Texas. June 19th is now dedicated to the of liberation for African Americans in the United States

Upon this news I was inspired to write a letter to the Virginia Department of Education, Virginia State Superintendent, Dr. Lane, and I also sent the letter to Virginia's Legislators to insure it would be reviewed. I spent hours of research and revised it with my former English teacher. Making Juneteenth a recognized holiday in Virginia means the world to my family and I. What is still concerning me and fellow peers is the lack of acknowledgement it has in the education system. It has become clear to me that Juneteenth is not taught or talked about in Virginia's curriculum. Now that higher authority has recognized the impact of African American history it is time to make a change in the classroom. This is not just for the students of color, but as well as the students who have refused to acknowledge racial disparities in this country. From white washed history to Systemic Racism, Juneteenth is the perfect start to an open lesson and discussion.  

In my letter I eloquently voiced my concerns, suggested an action plan for the VDOE, and offered ways educators can teach the importance of African American history. Most people would suggest I should think about the perspectives of the students, teachers, and parents which I have. Truthfully, there is no way I can excuse the concerns of people who refuse to accept the truth about the past. It is educators around the world job to teach history the right way, but when has sugar-coating the truth ever done good for anyone?

My letter contains nothing but the truth and questions people of color have been dying to ask. I have mentioned key words that should be learned in classroom such as Redlining, Housing Discrimination, and Systemic Racism. Others times I have mentioned Black historical leaders, groups, and events in history. Throughout the letter I constantly convey my passion for African American history and its importance in and out of school.

PLEASE help me get the word out and enforce this demand! Share this campaign on your social media platforms, tell friends. Thank you to everyone who is willing to be a part of change that the world needs.

 

 

 

 

 

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