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.
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.
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."
The proposal also called for a committee to review course plans, starting with Advanced Placement history.
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.
Monday also saw hundreds of students, many from Evergreen High School, walk out of their classrooms and march to the school district's headquarters.
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.
"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."
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.
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.