Bethlehem Schools’ Juneteenth Black Lives Matter read-in promoting curriculum diversity

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"Never Stop Learning" on book spines

“Never Stop Learning” on book spines. (Gerd Altmann / Pixabay)

BETHLEHEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Bethlehem Schools students are holding a read-in in the main parking lot of Bethlehem High School at noon on Friday. It will feature selections from black authors as a celebration of black history and literature within the U.S.

Some say that the district’s curriculum does represent black creators well enough, and fails to teach students the full picture, creating a blindspot. Although organizers of the read-in recognize that the administration is trying to catch up by broadening coursework, they want to make their voices heard.

The read-in is scheduled from noon to 2:00 p.m., when an alumni-organized demonstration will start. The goal of the demonstration is to express disappointment with the district for waiting to effect change until spurred on by a national crisis. Many former students say they’ve agitated for better representation in the curriculum for years.

Organizers want attendees to follow social distancing and face-covering protocols.

In order to hold the district accountable and ensure follow-through, students organizing the read-in publicized a list of demands:

  • A more holistic and diverse curriculum
  • More bias and anti-racism training and education for staff
  • More student-run action and education initiatives

Read the full list of demands below:


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