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Anti-racist curriculum should be taught in schools

Anti-racist curriculum should be taught in schools

Anti-racist curriculum should be taught in schools
June 26
16:00 2020

It’s no secret that systemic racism is a major issue in America, and we are living in a revolutionary time where people of color and their allies are demanding change. Too many lives have been lost to racial violence and too many children have suffered because of discrimination. While we’re focused on defunding the police and law enforcement reform, we should also focus on the education system. Changing the education system is a strong step towards ending systemic racism.

Public schools in America have only been integrated for 60 years and since then, our education system has failed to acknowledge the larger problem. Schools have promoted systemic racism by treating black students differently from white students and providing them with unequal access to opportunities. For example, predominantly white schools are more likely to have an increased budget and more learning resources. This is a result of public schools using the redlining tactic, which was used in housing discrimination and forced people of color into high-risk neighborhoods with fewer resources.

The time has come to educate children about systemic racism, white privilege, implicit bias and teach them how to be actively anti-racist citizens. Children of color should not be forced into an education system that was set up to favor white children. Public schools must start implementing anti-racist curriculum. This curriculum would show white children their privilege and teach them how to be allies to people of color.

In addition to instituting anti-racist curriculum, schools must evaluate their current curriculum and abolish racist teachings. Black lives and people of color should be represented equally and celebrated for their achievements. School administrators and educators should be examined carefully upon hiring. Implicit bias tests should be given when hiring new faculty and their social media profiles should be monitored for racial remarks and inappropriate behavior.

Students in America want their educational experience to change for the better and they deserve a chance to help take down a hateful system. In Frederick County, Maryland there was a petition to reform their education system and begin teaching anti-racist curriculum. The petition states they are seeking to, “reexamine how we honor Black lives in our education system in elementary, middle and high school curricula — not simply as a reactionary means, but in direct ways that critically challenge how we frame our nation’s history.” Deeper into the letter the students provide specific directions for teaching anti-racism, a reading list and educational materials to use for teaching accurate historical events surrounding race.

Other schools are demanding anti-racist curriculum as well. A preparatory school in New Rochelle, New York formed their own petition which included a reading list. Across the country, students in Yorba Linda, California are demanding an anti-racist curriculum as well. Young people are waking up and working to change the way they’re being taught.

Teaching students about anti-racism could have an impact on their home lives as well. Black parents might feel safer sending their children to school if they implement anti-racist policies and curriculums. White students could teach their parents about anti-racism and have important discussions about race. Children are the future and if they are shown how to be anti-racist, we could create a better future.

Unfortunately, conversations about race won’t be comfortable and many will result in confrontation, but change is never comfortable or easy. To achieve our goals, we must confront racism and actively work to tear down the system that was built to uphold it.

The end goal is to take racism out of the education system and provide all students with a safe space to grow and learn. By mandating public schools to reform and teach anti-racist curriculum, we can move closer to a place where all students have equal opportunities. We can remove the discrimination and hate from education to finally make public schools productive for everyone.

Featured Illustration: Srinidhi Shukla

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Shelby Stevens

Shelby Stevens

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