CINCINNATI — Recent protests led by groups such as Black Lives Matter have raised the question of how schools teach students about race and culture and what can be done to give them a more rounded approach to these topics.
"I think now's the time for us to have these conversations," said Elgin Card, Lakota Local School District's senior director of diversity and inclusion, and who oversees the Lakota Outreach Diversity and Inclusion department. "Even more and more people are listening."
Card said he has been working to change the curriculum and retrain the staff of Lakota Local Schools to teach a more in-depth, inclusive history.
"I want teachers, I want people of different color, [and] religions," Card said. "Make sure that our literature shows different people and different types of people."
And this call for a more inclusive curriculum isn't new.
Ihsan Walker wrote a letter to his alma mater, St. Xavier High School, calling for more lessons on Black history to be taught in classes.
"You understand that Christopher Columbus did not discover America," Walker said. "But you also understand that you have to put that down as your answer on the test in order to get through this institution."
Walker also said he wanted St. Xavier to have more diversity on its school board, a Black alumni association and more resources and programs to teach about racism.
"It's often labeled as not that important, we can put that on hold, and nothing could be even more dangerous," Walker said. "This has been the virus that has been plaguing us longer than COVID."
St. Xavier President Tim Reilly said in a statement, "When I reflect on my own years at St. Xavier, it is obvious we have come a long way, including growing our diverse student population... Please know that we continue to have conversations around our current initiatives and the opportunities to improve or change those programs."
How well was Black History, Race & Culture taught in your school?— Jasmine Minor (@jasmineminortv) August 17, 2020
Local school districts tell me the #BLM protests were a wake up call. Now many say they’re adding new curriculum despite #COVID19.
St. X Alum, Ihsan Walker, wrote an open letter demanding change #thread @WCPO pic.twitter.com/puXgk8x7JM