CPS facing possible lawsuit over Black History - New York News

CPS facing possible lawsuit over Black History

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The country's third largest school district could face a lawsuit for failing to comply with state law requiring all public elementary and high schools to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the events of Black History.

Florence Cox, President of We Can says Chicago Public Schools has one month to implement a law passed more than two decades ago mandating black history be taught beyond Black History month.

"And if that doesn't happen then we are amenable to seeking a lawsuit," said Cox in an interview with Fox 32's Tisha Lewis.

The community group says the district's students are not learning about black history beyond Black History Month, a violation of a bill sponsored 22 years ago by State Representative Mary Flowers.

"These children's rights are being violated and they're not in compliance with the law… The law is quite simple, there was supposed to have been a curriculum taught in every school in regards to black history, that's the law and what and why it hasn't been done, I have no reason why," said Flowers.

Fox 32 News interviewed Amy Haun and her seventh grade daughter who attends a CPS school about what is taught.

"It's not black history, it's like other type of history… Abraham Lincoln and how he was the, he freed all the slaves and signed the Emancipation Proclamation and that's it, that's all we talk about," said Zaviera McMullen, 13 years old.

"I just want her to know the truth and be proud of everything that her races went through. She needs to be proud that she's a black woman," said Haun.

Cox says her complaints to CPS date back to 2011 but she received her first response two weeks ago when CPS gave her an African American History curriculum draft - a blueprint she calls unacceptable.

"Our history on this continent and in the United States of America did not begin with Civil Rights," said Cox.

DuSable Museum's President and CEO Dr. Carol Adams agrees.

"You interweave it. If you're talking about great literature then we're in that, if you're talking about mathematics then we're in that, if you're talking about astronomy and who first chartered the stars, then we're in that," said Adams.

In a statement CPS tells Fox 32 News, "Integrating these very important teachings into our classrooms is a priority for CEO Byrd-Bennett. As a result, CPS has been hard at work developing a new social science framework that incorporates a mandate for including African American History."

"This is not a February issue, this is not an issue just for black children, this is an issue for the educational system so that everyone gets the truth. African American history is American history," said Adams.

Fox 32's Tisha Lewis reports CPS plans to integrate black history into the curriculum by June.

On Friday, Cox says she did receive a call from CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and the two are scheduled to meet March 1.

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