On Monday, February 23rd the committee passed their proposed bill by a vote of 11 to four proving the overwhelming support in Oklahoma’s legislature. However, due to the nation wide hysteria caused by the outcome, the bill has been rescinded and a revision will be put up for a vote in the coming days. The revision will likely propose modifying the course all together or creating and separate version to be taught in Oklahoma schools. To develop and teach a new class of this level to high school students in Oklahoma would cost an estimated 3.8 million dollars of money from an already struggling school system.
The questions plaguing the nation remain the same. Since when is knowing your history and learning from your mistakes a bad thing? Didn’t Edmund Burke famously say, “those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”. Why shouldn’t students be able to celebrate the strides we have made as a country? As Linda Hampton, president of Oklahoma’s Education Association, said, “we cannot sanitize history”.
As a former APUSH student myself, I feel passionate about protecting students ability to learn all sides of their countries history. Many Bullis students and teachers feel similar. Dr. Romeyn, a long time Bullis AP USH teacher shared the following statement with The Bulldog in regards to the recent controversy.
"I was very surprised to hear about the actions of the Oklahoma legislature. First of all, I don't believe it is the place of government to dictate or micromanage the curriculum that is taught in schools. In this case, the new AP USH curriculum has been developed over a decade by college professors and has been thoroughly reviewed and tested. The main objection seems to be a belief that the new AP USH is too negative and spotlights the "bad" parts of American history. I've always believed that to teach the story of American history properly and thoroughly, a teacher needs to cover a variety of stories, even those that reflect the darker side of history. I think it is possible to highlight the technological innovations that made the trans-continental railroad possible, while at the same time discussing the impact of the railroad on Native American people. I know that I can teach about the bravery of American soldiers during World War II, while at the same time covering the Constitutional violations that happened during Japanese Internment. I believe that as a teacher, I am capable of presenting a balanced view of America, and I know my students can form their own conclusions about our past. For the Oklahoma legislature to decide otherwise is disrespectful to teachers." -Dr. Romeyn
Ashlyn Coleman (’15), a former student of Dr. Romeyn, said, “I really liked APUSH. It taught me history, although it is not all positive, it gave me a perspective on America’s evolution.”
As the argument in Oklahoma continues Bullis students feel lucky to have the opportunity to learn AP US history from such dedicated and exceptional teachers. Moving forward we remember that learning from our turbulent history is vital to creating a better future.