Parents In Utah Drop The Opt Out Request For Black History Curriculum


Many parents have opted out their children from the Black history month curriculum in a charter school in Northern Utah. Now they have withdrawn the request for the drop out.

A standard examiner reported that the Maria Montessori Academy has to face severe backlash from the general public after announcing that the participation in the curriculum is optional. 

Parents In Utah Drop The Opt Out Request For Black History Curriculum

Micah Hirokawa, director of the academy and board of member’s, released a statement that they had to send an opt out form concerned with the planned activities for the month of celebration after receiving a lot of requests from parents. 

Parents In Utah Drop The Opt Out Request For Black History Curriculum

He added that now they are glad that the families that showed concerns and raised questions about the curriculum have initiated to resolve the differences. Finally, the families have willingly withdrawn the opt out requests. Now, at the end moment, they do not have a single opt out request and that is a great news.

According to the school officials, a few families have submitted requests for opting out from the curriculum seeking exemption from instructions. But it was not revealed by the authorities how many such requests were made in total and what were the reasons sought for the exemption.

The head of the Ogden chapter of the NAACP, Betty Sawyer, said in a statement that she had to contact the school about making the Black history month celebration optional. She made a call Saturday morning regarding the query.

The statistics as per the Utah State Board of Education revealed a striking fact that only 3 students out of the academy’s 322 students are Black. About 70% of students in the academy are White.

Director Hirokawa expressed his emotions on the school’s Facebook page on Friday. He wrote that he reluctantly had to issue a letter explaining the opt out option from the Black history month celebrations. He said that parents are entitled to exercise their civil rights. They can choose not to participate in the Black history month at school and can request for an exemption for their children.

But it appears that the school’s Facebook page has been removed on Saturday.

Director Hirokawa also mentioned that after the incident the school is planning to entertain and handle parental concerns on an individual level to have a better understanding.

He also added that the discussions that were held with parents will not affect the Black history month curriculum. He said that the curriculum is based on the Black history instructions using the State’s social studies standards. And this cannot be modified.

Director Hirokawa is of Asian descent. He pointed out that the social media post was not according to his beliefs. He quoted that it seems as the great grandson of people is sent to a Japanese internment camp.

He said that in his personal opinion as well, students should be taught about the mistreatment, challenges and obstacles that the people of color had to face in the country. They have endured a lot. According to him, there is a lot of value in teaching the students about this stuff. It is a way to let them understand and find ways so that such things will not be repeated today and in the days to come. 

Black history month is observed annually in the USA and Canada to honor the Black people and their contribution in the history of the Nation. In the US it is also known as the African-American history month. The celebrations have official recognition from the respective governments. 

These days, other countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland and Netherlands are also observing the Black history month. 

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