An Illinois state lawmaker and other local leaders on Sunday called on the state’s Board of Education to temporarily suspend all history teaching in schools until a new curriculum can be developed that doesn’t contribute to systemic racism and white privilege.
At a press conference in Evanston, State Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Democrat, said the current school curriculum in Illinois is “miseducating” children and overlooks the contributions to society by women and people of color.
“Today, I’m calling for the abolishment of history classes in Illinois,” Mr. Ford told reporters. “We’re concerned that current school history teachings lead to white privilege and a racist society.”
In a press release distributed before the conference, Mr. Ford called on Illinoisans to “end the miseducation” of children.
“I’m calling on the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts to take immediate action by removing current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history,” he said in a statement. “Until a suitable alternative is developed, we should instead devote greater attention toward civics and ensuring students understand our democratic processes and how they can be involved. I’m also alarmed that people continue to display symbols of hate, such as the recent display of the Confederate flag in Evanston.”
Mr. Ford is co-sponsoring a bill with Democratic state Rep. Karina Villa that would require schools to teach about the American civil rights movement, as well as add several commemorative holidays to the school calendar acknowledging human and civil rights.