Superintendent Ed Hightower of Illinois’ Edwardsville School District has told schools not to talk about Michael Brown.
According to KMOX News, Hightower told the station that although current news is typically discussed in class, “this situation in Ferguson-Florissant has become a situation whereby there are so many facts that are unknown.”
If students bring up the topic in class, teachers have been told to change the subject.
Hightower said that the order was issued because parents complained that teachers were discussing their personal opinions.
Throughout the country, dozens of educators have joined to create a syllabus on racially charged events like those in Ferguson, Mo. Organizations such as Teaching for Change have also created a guide to discuss the death of Brown in class.
Speaking to NPR, education writer Melinda Anderson noted the importance of having hard conversations with students when discussing Ferguson. “We said, let’s give them a resource. Let’s break down the resistance or the lack of information. Students should have the opportunity to express and to wrestle with what they are seeing. Teachers have a responsibility to help kids find their own voice and to really empower them with strategies for changing this messed-up world we inhabit,” Anderson said.
Read more at KMOX News.