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Colorado school board OKs controversial curriculum review

Colorado school board OKs controversial curriculum review
Students at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colo., protest a Jefferson County School Board proposal to emphasize patriotism in the teaching of U.S. history. (Brennan Linsley / Associated Press)

A suburban Denver school board approved a plan to review the curriculum in some U.S. history classes, with some changes from the original proposal that sought to promote patriotism and downplay civil disobedience.

Hundreds of students, teachers and parents who have been protesting the proposal for weeks filled the Thursday evening school board meeting and watched live video on a screen outside.

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Some in the audience called out "Resign!" and "Recall!" as the board voted 3 to 2 to approve a review committee that will include students, parents and administrators.

The board's two-member minority wanted more time to study the compromise offered by the district's superintendent.

Students across a majority of the 17 high schools in Colorado's second-largest school district have left classes in droves over the last few weeks.

The protests began more than a week ago, after the Jefferson County school board proposed creating a committee to review texts and course plans, starting with Advanced Placement history, to ensure materials "promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights" and don't "encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law."

That language was stripped from the version that passed Thursday evening, and the committee's membership was expanded to include representation by students, parents and administrators.

The changes didn't appear to satisfy the hundreds of students who have been leaving class to protest in waves. The history class was the first of the AP classes to be reviewed. Students plan more protests.

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