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Hundreds Of Students In Denver Protest School Board Proposal To "Censor" American History

The conservative board's proposal calls for promoting patriotism and discouraging civil disobedience while teaching Advanced Placement American history.

Posted on September 24, 2014, at 11:32 a.m. ET

Wednesday marked the third day of walkouts by hundreds of students in Denver's Jefferson County, protesting against the school board's proposal to promote patriotism and discourage civil disorder in the history curriculum.

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Students protest outside of Ralston Valley High School on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, in Arvada, Colo.

Students from six high schools in suburban Denver staged walkouts Tuesday, to protest what they believe is "censorship" of history by the conservative-led Jefferson County School Board.

#standupforstudents @MauraSheahan @mackenzieblair3 @Suznnah_Liselli @Brown_Courtney1 @SMckayli

jørdän@jordan_spacek17

#standupforstudents @MauraSheahan @mackenzieblair3 @Suznnah_Liselli @Brown_Courtney1 @SMckayli

5:45 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The board's proposal calls for teaching materials promoting patriotism and citizenship, respect for authority, and the free-market system, while discouraging material that would encourage "civil disorder, social strife or disregard of law."

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Students protest outside of Ralston Valley High School, Tuesday, Sept. 23 in Arvada.

The proposal also called for a committee to review course plans, starting with Advanced Placement history.

Nearly 20 Conifer HS students are lining U.S. 285 to protest #jeffcoschoolbd

Daniel Laverty@lavertyreports

Nearly 20 Conifer HS students are lining U.S. 285 to protest #jeffcoschoolbd

11:44 AM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Student demonstrations began on Friday, after teachers staged a "sick out" to demand better pay and protest against the proposed changes in the curriculum, forcing two schools to be shut down.

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Students protest outside of Ralston Valley High School on Tuesday, Sept. 23 in Arvada.

Monday also saw hundreds of students, many from Evergreen High School, walk out of their classrooms and march to the school district's headquarters.

Standley Lake HS students protest this morning to show support for their teachers. #9News

Byron Reed@BReed05

Standley Lake HS students protest this morning to show support for their teachers. #9News

10:31 AM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Tensions have escalated in Colorado's second-largest school district since three conservative candidates were elected to the school board in November 2013, forming a majority.

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Students protesting outside of Ralston Valley High School, get high-fives from a passing jogger.

"There are things we may not be proud of as Americans,” Julie Williams, one of the conservative members, told Chalkbeat Colorado. "But we shouldn’t be encouraging our kids to think that America is a bad place."

#FridayInJeffco #GatorStrong #JeffcoStandUp

The board's proposal echoes concerns of conservatives in the U.S. who have opposed the current history curriculum for adopting, what they believe, is a liberal and negative view of American history.

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Students protest outside of Ralston Valley High School on Tuesday.

From the Colorado Chalkbeat:

The new version of the course spends more time on early and recent American history and places greater focus on the role of women and minorities. Many conservative critics have complained that the changes are revisionist and present a negative view of the country. The Colorado State Board of Education has debated the topic but has taken no action.

Student protests, which continued Wednesday, have been largely mobilized through social media.

Over 70 students here this evening! #JeffcoStandUp #FridayInJeffco

Jeffco Student@JeffcoStandUp

Over 70 students here this evening! #JeffcoStandUp #FridayInJeffco

7:55 PM - 19 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

People are tweeting photos and updates on the protest using the hashtag #JeffcoStandup.

One of my favorite shirts from Pomona's protest. These are our model citizens & democracy in action. #JeffcoStandUp

Lisa C@Realrellim

One of my favorite shirts from Pomona's protest. These are our model citizens & democracy in action. #JeffcoStandUp

1:32 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Students are expected to stage walkouts through the week.

Another pic of #JeffcoStandUp protests:

People are also using the hashtag #jeffcoschoolboardhistory to tweet hilarious interpretations of historical events mocking the school board's proposal.

Declaration of Independence refers to a song by Beyonce #jeffcoschoolboardhistory

RallyPants@RallyPants

Declaration of Independence refers to a song by Beyonce #jeffcoschoolboardhistory

7:08 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

America began when Washington defeated the Dinosaurs with Atomic Bombs. Then built a moon prison for them. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory

Lazlo Panaflex@jamestimmer

America began when Washington defeated the Dinosaurs with Atomic Bombs. Then built a moon prison for them. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory

10:37 AM - 24 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

This woman is really, really happy. #VacuumingInHeelsRocks #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory #copolitics

Jen Caltrider@caltrider

This woman is really, really happy. #VacuumingInHeelsRocks #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory #copolitics

6:43 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Pearl Harbor was attacked by Iraqis who snuck across the Mexican border. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory #copolitics

Luis Toro@_luistoro

Pearl Harbor was attacked by Iraqis who snuck across the Mexican border. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory #copolitics

6:44 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

If only Rosa Parks followed orders & sat where she was supposed to, Bengazi never would have happened #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory #copolitics

timhoover@timhoover

If only Rosa Parks followed orders & sat where she was supposed to, Bengazi never would have happened #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory #copolitics

6:05 PM - 23 Sep 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

More than 15,000 people have signed a petition to prevent the school board from "outlawing historical events."

petitions.moveon.org

The petition says:

"If these important lessons are not taught, children will not learn from them, and what will stop them from happening again? This is a severe form of censorship intended to keep the youth ignorant and easy to manipulate."

The Superintendent of the school district, Dan McMinimee, met with students on Monday and urged them to stay in classes.

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

A Pomona High School student wears a sign on his body that says "I love my edu!" as he waves to passing motorists at a busy intersection near his school, during the multi-school protest.

He said he was open to continue discussions on the issue but added that the school board had a right to ask for a review of the curriculum.

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Pomona High School students Ciana Vrtikapa, left, and Tori Suyak engage with passing motorists in a busy intersection near their school during the protest.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.