FALCON — District 49 officials have released another statement after families raised concerns over the context of a lesson plan centered around Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movements.
According to the district, students in the Art Explore class at Bennett Ranch Elementary engaged in the lesson on January 19. While the contents of the lesson met state academic standards related to culture, the material over Black Lives Matter was presented without following district policy of notifying parents about potentially controversial topics.
Since the material is considered controversial and based on district policy, parents have the option to determine their child's participation in advance. The district says the policy was not followed in this case, but the oversight was addressed and the art classes have moved on to another unit at this time.
The district released an additional statement following News 5's report:
As part of a lesson linking Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement with current events, an art teacher included a street mural saying, “Black Lives Matter.” That phrase has many meanings and associations, including some that are controversial, so we should have followed our controversial materials policy and notified parents in advance. We regret that oversight. Our policy and process invite feedback, so the identification and subsequent correction honors our process, and does not make a value judgement on the content. Although we will continue including discussions of contemporary issues in many areas of our curriculum, we commit to host these conversations carefully in partnership with parents and seasoned with grace and humility. We are grateful that parents support us and trust they will keep holding us to the highest standard.
The district wouldn't specify what disciplinary actions the teacher faced, but a source tells News 5 that the teacher received a write-up over the situation.
This is a developing story.