According to Action News Jax, students at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, Florida staged a sit-in earlier this week, demanding that African-American History courses be taught year round instead of their current half year status. Students and their parents met with administrators Tuesday to discuss the topic.
“[The other students] risked being in trouble over a cause that we all truly think more people should be concerned about,” student organizer Angelina Roque said.
Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said that the students who raised the issue of the way the class is being taught will not be disciplined.
“Historically, Terry Parker and other high schools in Duval County has offered the course, but as a half-credit, not as a full credit … we will, and are certainly willing to offer it as a full-year course starting in the fall,” Vitti said. “I respect that students demonstrated self-advocacy and used their voice to signal concerns about their education. If there is student demand for a full-credit and yearlong African-American-history course, then we should and will provide it to students. We will work through the process of developing and offering that course.”
“Being able to have a full course of African-American history … that will honestly make a big difference. It will help the cultural gap,” Roque said.
In order to have African-American history as a full-year course available to all students, school officials will have to work with the state and make sure that state standards, as well as staffing needs and costs, are being met.
However, first students have to put their request in writing, which Terry Parker’s are currently working on.