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March 6, 2015 1 5
WORLD & NATION
HB 1380 makes history with
pushback against APUSH
“An Act relating to schools; directing the State Board of
Education to adopt a certain United States History program
and assessment; requiring United States History courses to
include the study of certain documents,” states HB 1380.
On Feb. 16, this new bill was presented to the Oklahoma
legislature. The bill will ban Advanced Placement U.S. History
from Oklahoma school systems, cut future funding on for the
program and enforce a new curriculum to replace it.
In the same week of Feb. 16, the Oklahoma House
committee passed the bill, with 11 Republicans voting for the
measure and four Democrats opposed.
Several Oklahoma politicians who want to ban APUSH
courses from their school systems, are calling the course
unpatriotic after a new framework was introduced in October
The bill itself was presented by Daniel Fisher, a Republican
representative of Oklahoma and member of the Black Robe
Regiment, a group that self describes as seeking to dismantle
the false wall of separation of church and state. Daniel claims
that the APUSH course defines what is bad about America
and fails to teach American exceptionalism, which led him to
remove the curriculum and add his own.
The Guilfordian reached out to Daniel, but he did not
Here on campus many are critical of the bill’s goals.
“No reasonable house would pass such a bill, and the fact
that such bill exists really says more about the neurosis of the
man who drafted it,” said senior and history major Patrick
“I can’t imagine anyone honestly viewing the APUSH
curriculum as being revisionist or anti-American.”
Other students echoed this sentiment.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t take APUSH in high school ... I
wish I would have taken the course because it would have given
me a better background information about America’s history,”
said first-year Meagan Wood. “I think that Representative
Fisher is making a huge mistake by removing APUSH just
because it’s not up to his patriotic standards.”
Daniel did single out a couple of documents that should
be taught to all high school students. These include both
earlier documents such as the Gettysburg Address, Madison’s
Federalist paper No. 10 and “Common Sense” by Thomas
Paine as well as later documents including Martin Luther
King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and the “Ballot or the
Bullet” speech made by Malcolm X.
“(Teachers may) teach each document in a manner and order
to facilitate student learning,” says the the bill. “Teachers may
(also) include other foundational and historical documents.”
Even with this list of required readings, however, teachers
find the bill problematic.
“I have been an APUSH teacher for several years, and I
have even had kids from seven years back that have come
up to me to thank me for teaching them the essence beyond
American history, so taking away APUSH is maniacal,” said
Lynn Fisher, head chair of the history department at Asheboro
High School in an email interview. “Every future APUSH
student should experience learning the good and bad about
Further criticism has focused on the fact that Daniel
includes Republican speeches in his new list of mandatory
readings, including speeches by George W Bush and Ronald
Reagan, but none from our three last Democratic presidents:
Barack Obama, Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter.
Thursday March 12, 2015 @ 7:30 p.m. | Leak Room, Duke Hall
“Race for Prophets:
A talk by Dr. William Boone
William Boone is on associate professor
of English and Africono Studies at
Winston-Salem State University, where
he teaches courses on hip-hop, gender,
popular culture, African American
culture and literature. His research
interests include music criticism, cultural
history, superheroes and race, and
African American masculinity. Follow
him on Twitter (@afroblew).
The event is sponsored by OSLE, Honors Program, and the English Department.
News in Brief
The government in Britain has announced six
contenders for their list of possible commercial
spaceports, according to the BBC. Four are in
Scotland, while Wales and England have one
a piece. The hope is to have a commercial
spaceport by 2018 for private space planes.
These would carry tourists in below-orbital
flights, or even take satellites into orbit. "I
want Britain to lead the way in commercial
spaceflight," said Aviation Minister Robert
Goodwill. "Establishing a spaceport will ensure
we are at the forefront of this exciting new
Belgium was convicted of a human rights
violation last week by the European Court of
Human Rights, according to Vice news. The
crime? Extraditing convicted Tunisian terrorist
Nizar Trabelsi to the United States. Belgium
handed Trabelsi over to the U.S. in 2011, on
the condition he would be tried in a civilian
court and not face the death penalty. Trabelsi
appealed to the ECHR on the grounds that he
might be given a life sentence without paroie in
the U.S., which would violate his human rights.
The ECHR found in his favor, and ordered a total
award of 90,000 euros to Trabelsi.
One hundred and fifty students are in a
standoff with police after attempting to march
to the capital, according Radio Free Asia. The
students are protesting a new education bill
that they claim restricts academic freedom.
The students have been marching since Jan.
20 and have covered 400 miles, despite the
government agreeing to potentially change the
law. Now they are camped out in a monastery,
surrounded by police, 86 miles from their target
city of Yangon. Some students have begun
a hunger strike to protest their march being
Last Friday, former deputy prime minister and
Putin critic Boris Nemtsov was killed in the Russian
capital, according to the Guardian. Nemtsov
was shot four times in the back near the Kremlin,
two days before leading a major opposition rally.
A spokesman for Putin has shared the Russian
presidents condolences with Nemtsov's family,
and said the investigation into his death will be
under Putin's "personal control." The killing has
been condemed by international leaders,-including
British PM David Cameron and Obama, but also
from Russians who supported Nemtsov's pro
democracy message and fight against corruption.
World & Navon EorroR
Photos Courtesy of Commons.wikimedia.org