Board candidates discuss requiring black studies courses in schools

4 years 3 months 1 week ago Wednesday, March 23 2016 Mar 23, 2016 Wednesday, March 23, 2016 8:11:00 PM CDT March 23, 2016 in Top Stories
By: Ashley Holt, KOMU 8 Reporter & Hli Yang, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA – Columbia’s school board election reignited the conversation on teaching required black studies courses in Columbia Public Schools.

At Tuesday’s Columbia Board of Education candidate debate, all candidates supported adding more black studies into the district’s curriculum.

Current board member Jan Mees, who is running for re-election, said it was a unique question when the board was asked about adding more black studies courses.

“As our world continues to expand and diversify, the more we can do to help our students learn about people other than themselves, is really a win-win situation for everybody,” Mees said. 

Columbia Public Schools said it believes it’s just as important that students learn black history as the history of other races and religion.

CPS provided a list of courses that teach different cultures.


Columbia Public Schools currently offers an African-American Studies and Studies in American Race, Gender, and Ethnicity at Battle High School, Hickman High School, and Rock Bridge High School.

These classes, along with other classes that teach inclusiveness and cultures, are offered, but not required.

MU Black Studies Department Chair Stephanie Shonekan said black studies should be a requirement. She said giving students the opportunity to learn something about black people is a step in the right direction.

“What we’ve done this far hasn’t worked, we know,” Shonekan said. “Because of the types of tensions that still exist. And perhaps the reasons for those tensions is that there are a whole lot of people who don’t know, who don’t have a real understanding of what the black identity and the black identities in America are.”

MU student Luria Freeman said she was taught black studies in elementary school and has taken two black studies courses at MU.  She said she has benefited from taking those classes and it should be a requirement.  

“People who don’t get that are really being cheated,” Freeman said. “They’re coming into adulthood with a really skewed version of what they think our history is, which is affecting how they think of topics such as institutional racism.”

Shonekan said offering courses about other races or religion is welcomed, but courses about black studies should be the requirement. She said the problems in the U.S. for the past 5-20 years have been with the ways in which African Americans have been dealt with and perceived.

“We haven’t had a problem with Irish-American youth, in a pattern, as we’ve seen with African Americans,” Shonekan said. “We could say everyone should learn about stars, but stars have not been our problem in the last decade, race has been the problem.”

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - A Fulton man is in custody for attempted statutory rape and sodomy, according to a Missouri State Highway... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 10:14:00 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) — A shooting Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, left a suspect dead and a police... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 8:55:29 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The white St. Louis couple who became internationally famous for standing guard with guns outside their... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 6:42:00 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
AP—The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources necessary to confront the worst health... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 5:00:35 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Fourth of July festivities are set to begin Friday in Jefferson City, but under a new normal.... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, July 03 2020 Jul 3, 2020 Friday, July 03, 2020 3:15:00 AM CDT July 03, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City School District announced an update to families on Thursday about fall classes. The district's... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 9:07:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - While higher education saw its state funding slashed Tuesday for the new fiscal year... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 8:32:46 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - An arcade bar in Columbia is shutting down for two weeks after a customer tested positive for coronavirus,... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 7:35:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Jefferson City police investigators worked with authorities from Jacksonville, Florida to solve a 1999 cold case. ... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 5:32:19 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. ... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Division of Employment Security is handling a record number... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 5:00:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
TIPTON – Governor Mike Parson signed two bills on Thursday to expand internet broadband in rural Missouri. HB 1768... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 4:56:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Cities like St. Louis and Kansas City passed mask ordinances this week, and Columbia's city council will decide... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 3:33:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses at the Lake of the Ozarks are preparing for large... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 2:38:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayor Brian Treece gave an update Thursday morning on his thoughts about the proposed mask ordinance. "On... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 2:07:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The extended deadline for filing income taxes is fast approaching, but help is available for those who need... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 1:43:00 PM CDT July 02, 2020 in Continuous News
(CNN) -- Sleep problems in early childhood may be linked to the development of certain mental health disorders in adolescence,... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 9:26:54 AM CDT July 02, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 02 2020 Jul 2, 2020 Thursday, July 02, 2020 7:31:00 AM CDT July 02, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 85°
1pm 86°
2pm 84°
3pm 80°
4pm 82°