These Fla. High School Students Are Protesting For A Year Round African American History Course
Angelina Roque, one of the students a part of the protest, courtesy of CBS 47
A group of Florida high school students orchestrated a sit-in to demand that their school make its African American studies class a full year course.
According to a report from First Class News, several students from Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, Florida, staged the protest to press the school’s administration to change the length of its African American studies course. The Florida school currently only offers the course as a semester long or half year class.
By Florida law, history of African Americans is required instruction, as well as “the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the contributions of African-Americans to society.” The students used this statute to expand the length of the class.
Approximately 10 students participated in the protest, which occurred this past Monday. “They risked being in trouble over a cause that we all truly think more people should be concerned about,” Angelina Roque, who helped organize the sit-in and is a sophomore at the school, said of her classmates.
Roque said that the primary goal of the demonstration was to make school leaders “hear us, make them see us, [and] make them listen to us.”
At a Duval County Public School district meeting that followed that same day, it was decided that the students would not be punished for their protest, and that the county would look into expanding the half year course to a full year, full credit course in the fall.
“I respect that students demonstrated self advocacy and used their voice to signal concerns about their education,” Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said in a statement to CBS 47. “If there is student demand for a full credit and year long 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.”