Iowa State Education Association, parents want Black history to be taught all year round

A member of Johnston Parents for Equity and Anti-Racism said she hopes the curriculum can include black history – and black joy – all year long, not just in February.

DZ MOINE, Iowa – Despite more than 40 years of Black History Month celebrations, teachers continue to face challenges in incorporating it into their curriculum, and colored parents continue to struggle for a wider range of black experiences. should be reflected.

Mike Beranek, president of the Iowa Education Association (ISEA), hopes the counties will introduce these exercises after February.

“There are so many components in the history of black culture in the United States that it can extend to all areas of study throughout the school year,” Beranek said.

Tiara Mace, a member of Johnston’s Parent for Equity Against Racism party, echoes that statement.

“Black history is 365 days a year,” Mace said.

Tiara hopes educators will branch out and explore other black figures who are less likely to be taught in schools.

“I want them to learn more and more figures outside of just Martin Luther King Rose Parks, talking about our first black president, our current vice president, just in more detail,” Mace said.

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Beranek said educators also faced problems, citing an Iowa law passed in June that bans schools from teaching a critical theory of race.

“There are people who would like to narrow down the scope of what we teach in our classes, but that’s not good,” he said. “It’s just an expression of opinion. And because our classes are full of different cultures and they come from different backgrounds, we need to make sure we honor everyone in that room.”

Mace said this type of legislation does not allow children to learn everything they need to know about the history of black Americans.

“Our teachers are constantly threatened, you know, with jail or fines,” Mace said. “It interferes with why our kids are learning. It’s a direct flow.”

She worries that teachers feel they can’t talk about certain topics.

“So as long as there are events in the capital where our teachers feel they can’t talk and teach our children in a safe place for them personally, our children will continue to receive a superficial education,” Mace said.

Related: Teachers accused of violations to be named under proposed Iowa House bill

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