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Evanston group calls for history class to be updated with contributions from underrepresented groups

ABC7 News

An Evanston group wants to suspend history lessons in schools until the lessons focus more on the contributions of minorities, and women.

The group met Sunday at the Robert Crown Center to call on the state to stop its current history teaching practices.

“The miseducation of our children must stop,” said Meleika Gardner of We Will in a statement. “It is urgent that it comes to an end as we witness our current climate become more hostile. Miseducation has fed and continues to feed systemic racism for generations. If Black History continues to be devalued and taught incorrectly, then it will call for further action.”

State Representative Lawshawn Ford said lessons need to be more inclusive, to accurately portray history.

“When it comes to teaching history in Illinois, we need to end the miseducation of Illinoisans,” Ford said. “I’m calling on the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts to take immediate action by removing current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history. Until a suitable alternative is developed, we should instead devote greater attention toward civics and ensuring students understand our democratic processes and how they can be involved. I’m also alarmed that people continue to display symbols of hate, such as the recent display of the Confederate flag in Evanston.”

Ford is sponsoring House Bill 49-54 to create new teaching practices in public schools.

“As Mayor, I am not comfortable speaking on education, curriculum, and whether history lessons should be suspended. This is not my area. Personally, I support House Bill 4954 because I am interested in learning more and believe the history of Black people should be taught to all children and include all groups, Women, LatinX, and Native Indians who helped to build America,” Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty said in a statement.

This article originally appeared on ABC7 News.

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