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Parents, teachers speak out against proposed changes to social studies standards

Parents and teachers speak out against proposed changes to social studies standards at a Monday night meeting. (Amanda Chodnicki)

Your child's social studies classes could soon see some major changes.

But before anything is made official, the public is being asked to weigh in.

Monday evening Flint residents received a chance to do just that and most of the people who attended were not happy with the possible changes.

Overall, it was a heated meeting, but one that a rep with the Michigan Department of Education said is necessary.

Some of the proposed changes include removing reference to Roe v. Wade and decreasing references to the NAACP and Ku Klux Klan.

While the lawmaker behind the proposed changes, Senator Patrick Colbeck, said he wants to be accurate and politically neutral, others argue there’s nothing balanced about it.

"To me, they've given a license to schools who are predominantly white to say, ‘Well, we don't have to teach this,’” retired teacher Nancy Presnell said. “’It's not what we want in our curriculum.’"

Jim Cameron, the social studies consultant for the Michigan Department of Education, said the standards are just the standards.

He said it doesn't stop teachers from giving examples and adding their own spin.

"If the KKK, isn't included enough for your classroom, for what you're teaching then use it as an example,” Cameron said. “What you teach and the curriculum is a local control issue."

But Presnell and others in the audience said these events are a part of history, so it should be a part of the textbooks.

"You can't expect a child to hone their thinking skills if they don't have facts,” Presnell said.

There will be another input session Tuesday evening in Saginaw from 6-8 p.m. at 3860 Fashion Square Boulevard.

If you can’t make it, you can give your input online by clicking here.

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