State Watch

School counselor alerts parents they can opt kids out of Black History Month lessons

CORRECTION: The statement from Brown County Schools Superintendent Emily Tracy said the district supports “teaching about the facts in our history including historical injustices.” An earlier version of this story included incorrect information.

A school counselor in Indiana sent a memo to parents telling them they can opt their children out of Black History Month lessons.

“In honor of Black History Month and Valentine’s Day, I will be coming around and teaching lessons related to equity, caring and understanding differences,” the memo from Sprunica Elementary School counselor Benjamin White said, according to NBC News.

White pointed to studies that show that “students who have a greater understanding of diversity in the classroom and outside world will demonstrate improved learning outcomes such as improved grades, better peer relationships, and greater career success later on.”

“If you would like to opt your child out of receiving these lessons then sign the form below and have your child return it to the school to give it to the teacher,” he concluded. 

Brown County Schools Superintendent Emily Tracy said in a statement obtained by NBC that officials are looking into the reported memo. 

“Our district supports teaching about the facts in our history including historical injustices,” Tracy said. “We are and will continue to be committed to having compassion for all and supporting an education community that will allow all students, staff, families and community members the opportunity to feel welcome.” 

The Hill has reached out to White and Brown County Schools for comment.

The incident comes amid nationwide debate about how and if children are taught about topics such as racial injustice, critical race theory and LGBT issues in schools. Several state legislatures and school districts have passed or are considering measures to ban certain books dealing with race, sexuality and gender identity in school libraries. 

This story was updated at 8:28 a.m.

Tags Black history month Critical race theory history Indiana race in schools

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video