NORTHERN OGDEN, Utah – Parents who tried to exclude their children from studying the Black History Month curriculum at a charter school in northern Utah withdrew their application.
The Maria Montessori Academy in North Ogden has experienced a public response after announcing a plan to make participation optional, the Standard-Examiner reported on Saturday.
“We regret that upon receipt of the applications, an exit form was sent out regarding the activities planned for this month of celebration,” said Micah Hirokawa, academic director and school board statement.
“We are grateful that the families that originally had questions and concerns came to the table willingly to resolve any disagreements, and currently no family selects our planned activities, and we have discarded this opportunity,” the statement said.
School officials said some families had asked for an exemption from education but were unwilling to say how many or give reasons.
Betty Sawyer, head of NAACP’s Ogden department, said she contacted the school Saturday morning over a decision to make Black History Month’s curriculum optional.
Data from the Utah State Board of Education shows that only three of the 322 students at the academy are black, while 70% are white.
Hirokawa wrote on the school’s Facebook page on Friday that he “reluctantly” issued a letter explaining that families “can exercise their civil rights not to attend school during Black History Month”.
The Facebook page appeared to have been removed on Saturday.
In the future, the school plans to treat parental concerns individually, Hirokawa said.
Discussions with parents will not result in a change to the Black History Month curriculum, which is based on black history education that uses state social science standards, Hirokawa said.
Asian honesty Hirokawa said social media posting contradicted his personal beliefs as he was the great-grandson of people sent to a Japanese internment camp.
“Personally, I see a lot of value in teaching our children about the treatment, challenges and obstacles that the colorful people of our nation have had to endure and what we can do today to prevent such abuses from continuing,” Hirokawa said.