Posted on March 1, 2019

Denver High School Changes Policy Allowing Black History Event Opt-Out

Karma Allen, ABC News, February 28, 2019

A Denver high school reversed a controversial policy on Thursday that allowed students to opt out of attending a Black History Month assembly.

Officials at George Washington High School told ABC News parents no longer will be allowed to prevent their children from attending individual assemblies amid backlash over its decision to let students opt out of an upcoming black history celebration in March.

{snip} “As we continue the important work of dismantling systemic racism, segregation, and inequity in education, and specifically at George Washington High School, we appreciate our community holding us accountable.

“To expand the perspectives and learning opportunities for all of our students, it is counter-productive to promote the opportunity to opt-out of an assembly examining any part of history, culture, or current events.”

George Washington faced fierce backlash earlier this week after the school emailed a newsletter to parents that advertised its upcoming “African-American Heritage Month assembly” and included a form that allowed parents to opt their kids out of attending.


Parents and community members were outraged over the decision to make a black heritage celebration optional, but the school said the opt-out form was standard and applied to all school-wide assemblies.


“This is the type of systemic racism that we are talking about that pervades DPS at its core. Since when do students get to ‘opt-out’ of Black History Month assemblies,” the post said. “Everyday this is the type of microaggressions that Black faculty, parents and students have to face in this racist system. This is the problem.”

It commended George Washington officials for their swift action in a subsequent post when news of the policy change broke.