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Fri Mar 1, 2019, 01:29 AM

Denver high school changes policy allowing Black History event opt-out

Source: ABC News


George Washington faced fierce backlash over its assembly opt-out policy.

By Karma Allen 54m ago

A Denver high school reversed a controversial policy on Thursday that allowed students to opt out of attending a Black History Month assembly.

Officials at George Washington High School told ABC News parents no longer will be allowed to prevent their children from attending individual assemblies amid backlash over its decision to let students opt out of an upcoming black history celebration in March.

"Effective immediately we are eliminating the assembly opt-out policy and all students will attend educational assemblies at GW," Kristin Waters, the school's principal, said in a statement. "As we continue the important work of dismantling systemic racism, segregation, and inequity in education, and specifically at George Washington High School, we appreciate our community holding us accountable.

"To expand the perspectives and learning opportunities for all of our students, it is counter-productive to promote the opportunity to opt-out of an assembly examining any part of history, culture, or current events."

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/US/denver-high-school-policy-allowing-black-history-event/story?id=61397885

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 01:56 AM

1. Good.

George has no business allowing students to opt out black history assemblies. It's a really good school with a regionally known International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, strong arts and athletics and solid academics. Not only that, but Denver Public Schools is known for good special needs programming, particularly for the deaf.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 08:23 AM

14. Yes i have a few friends who graduated from the IB program

 

It is definitely a standard of excellence there.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 02:10 AM

2. I disagree.

Not because it's a Black History assembly on this most significant month, but because I'm a little more libertarian when it comes to my kids (grand kids) in public school. My wife & I often resorted to the mantra "they're my kids, not the school's" back in the day. Having said that, I'd advise my kid to attend in this case. Otherwise, I'd like final decision on extracurricular activities.

Next could be mandatory "Creator Awareness Assemblies" and MAGA rally viewing.

no.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 02:22 AM

3. How are these things you're (I assume) making up remotely parallel to this assembly?

The key point in the school's reversal is in this quote:

"... it is counter-productive to promote the opportunity to opt-out of an assembly examining any part of history, culture, or current events."


The school planned an assembly whose purpose is to highlight a facet of US history. Sounds like a sufficiently academic goal (examining history, culture or current events) to me.

You seem to be suggesting that examining race and its role in US history is somehow parallel with pushing religion or a political point of view. It's certainly possible to co-opt a Black history event for a partisan or improper purpose, but there is nothing in the article to suggest that had happened.

This is a chance for kids to become informed about facets of their nation's history that they might otherwise be unaware of (particularly if they have the sorts of parents who would be eager to sign an opt-out form).

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Response to caraher (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 02:34 AM

6. I'm sure it's an edifying program.

I just oppose the word mandatory for non curricular activities, including football games and pep rallies. Unless there's a credit involved I think it should be voluntary. Perhaps you prefer to take such choices away from your child and defer to the administration to decide what's best, but you could require that as a parent without school intervention.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 11:03 AM

17. There should be credit. It should be considered US History, because it is.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 02:27 AM

4. Also, if the school held MAGA/creationist events...

an event "opt-out" would be the last thing on my mind. I'd focus more on getting those responsible fired.

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Response to caraher (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 07:56 AM

11. Exactly...

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 02:44 AM

7. I think I see your point.

I’m thinking of the necessity of upholding an individual’s
right not to salute the flag, and protesters’ right to
occupy a space or workers’ rights to strike and bargain .
And voters’ rights ....

It’s a slippery slope when you force an attendance when
your cause is righteous although we must also have laws
and enforcement in place to uphold civil and voting rights
and to allow women safe access to healthcare.

Institutional racism is a real problem and children do need
access to good information and discussion on it. There’s no
easy answer here.. But fascists would be able to project
fascism on the “good guys” for mandatory attendance and
use it to justify even worse policies from their end, which
they have been doing anyway for awhile... and I really
hate fascism.

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Response to ananda (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 02:55 AM

8. Teaching tolerance starts at home.

I don't imagine forcing a child into an auditorium does anything to counter what's burned into the heart. I also believe attendance would be higher than school officials seem to fear. Social pressure is more powerful than overbearing rules that would cause resentment.

This requirement could be one step forward and two steps back.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 03:17 AM

9. Do you also "opt out" of vaccinations?

"Black History Month" is an important part of an education. Sure, they're your kids and all, but the rest of society will have to live with them for, I hope, many years after you shed your mortal coil. The mere act of "opting out" of such a thing would leave a lasting and horrible impression on the child.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 11:16 AM

18. I wouldn't let my kids opt out of vaccinations

I wouldn't let them opt out of this assembly either. I stressed that in my post, but I don't think it should be mandatory.

Vaccinations are a health issue. That should be required to avoid a deadly epidemic.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 08:20 AM

12. You are correct. "Mandatory" can be misused easily.

And depending on WHO is doing the assembly, who knows how a presentation is done? There are dozens of different ways to present the same topic. Some are going to be more biased in one way than others.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 08:32 AM

15. Then YOU are part of the problem

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #15)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 11:20 AM

19. Which problem am I a part of?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 02:29 AM

5. Personally I wish they had an opt out ability for any assembly back when I was in school as

I really, really hate large crowds and every time they had any major events it would trigger a major vomit (think the green pea soup scene from the exorcist) inducing migraine.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 03:24 AM

10. It's disgraceful that they allowed an opt-out in the first place.

Attendance for such things should be made mandatory.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 08:21 AM

13. This is my HS!!!!

 

I graduated there in 1993. Chauncey Billups two years later. Fine school. Loved my time there, very diverse.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 09:48 AM

16. Schools are for learning, so opting out rather defeats the purpose.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2019, 01:53 PM

20. In Looking At

the article it seems like they were allowed to opt out of any assembly. I would say that this is not what education is about. If you don't like the assembly you sit there with a glazed look in your eye thinking about what you will do on the upcoming weekend. Don't people learn anything in school these days? Part of the hysteria in the current era is that people seem to think they should be protected from viewpoints with which they do not agree. It's almost like people imagine that anything they don't agree with will infect them somehow and a foreign viewpoint has become like a cloud of secondhand smoke. Suck it up, snowflakes. You can't argue with a position if you don't know what its proponents are saying.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

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