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Illinois elected officials call for schools to stop teaching history right away

Illinois representatives and leaders in Evanston requested a complete halt on history instruction right away, and until such time as an alternative course of study can be presented.
Collin Jones The Post Millennial

Illinois representatives and leaders in Evanston congregated on Sunday to request a complete halt on history instruction right away, and until such time as the Illinois State Board of Education can present an alternative course of study, according NBC.

State Representative LaShawn K. Ford said in a news conference that the current teaching of history in schools produces a racist society that tends to ignore the contributions of women and minorities.

The representative suggested an alternative, saying that schools should commit to addressing civics and making sure that students understand the democratic process. Ford's office even handed out a news release before the event on Sunday that said: "Rep. Ford Today in Evanston to Call for the Abolishment of History Classes in Illinois Schools."

"It costs us as a society in the long run forever when we don't understand our brothers and sisters that we live, work and play with," Ford said. The state representative is now sponsoring a bill that would require elementary schools in the state to teach students about the civil rights movement.

Ford's release said that the concern is that the teaching of history as it stands right now "leads to white privilege and a racist society." As such he called "on the state to stop its current history teaching practices until appropriate alternatives are developed."

Ford noted that he wants to stop educating Illinois school children in history in order to "...end the miseducation of Illinoisans." He also asked for the "...removing of current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history."

Ford said that there should be a greater emphasis on "civics and ensuring students understand our democratic processes and how they can be involved," the release did not discuss exactly how Ford or his advocates in this undertaking to banish history education viewed a "fair" telling of history.

They said that "current history teaching practices overlook the contributions by Women and members of the Black, Jewish, LGBTQ communities and other groups." The change is requested immediately.

Meleika Gardner of We Will echoed Ford's sentiments, saying that “The miseducation of our children must stop. It is urgent that it comes to an end as we witness our current climate become more hostile. Miseducation has fed and continues to feed systemic racism for generations. If Black History continues to be devalued and taught incorrectly, then it will call for further action.”

Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty expressed his ignorance with regard to education policy before saying that he backed Ford's bill to change the way history is taught in his city right away.

"As Mayor," Hagerty said, "I am not comfortable speaking on education, curriculum, and whether history lessons should be suspended. This is not my area. Personally, I support House Bill 4954 because I am interested in learning more and believe the history of Black people should be taught to all children and include all groups, Women, LatinX, and Native Indians who helped to build America."

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