NORTH HIGHLANDS (CBS13) — A North Highlands dad wants his daughter to be able to opt-out of the "Black Lives Matter" lesson in her ethnic studies class, saying it doesn't align with his family's beliefs.
Garren Bratcher isn't happy his daughter Ella, 14, a freshman at San Juan High School, is getting lessons on Black Lives Matter.
"It really made me uncomfortable in class," said Ella.
"It's going to create that divide in the classroom and that becomes dangerous to a student," said Garren Bratcher.
The class is being taken online, and Ella's dad emailed her teacher asking for an alternate lesson plan. He calls BLM a radical group.
"The ethics behind them is not something you should be teaching a 14-year-old child. It sounded more like a recruitment tactic, not an educational experience," he said.
His request was denied. The class isn't required for Ella to graduate, but every freshman at San Juan High School is automatically enrolled in ethnic studies.
In an email the family shared with CBS13, Ella's teacher says the framework for the class comes from the California Department of Education and the teacher would only modify a lesson place for a student with an individualized education plan in special education.
Tanya Faison, founder of Sacramento's Black Lives Matter movement, says it's important for all young people to learn about black history, including BLM.
"It's about time our schools are teaching our kids the truth about our history in this country," she said.
San Juan Unified School District calls the lesson plan "completely appropriate" and released this statement:
"The course is taught in alignment with the state framework and this particular unit asks students to consider two relevant questions: "How has race and ethnicity been constructed in the United States and how have they changed over time?" And, "How do race and ethnicity continue to shape the United States contemporary issues?"
The Black Lives Matter movement is a timely and important area of study in processing these two questions. This particular assignment asks students to analyze and summarize a text to identify comparisons and differences between current and past events. Students are not asked to develop an opinion with regard to any particular civil rights movement but instead are graded on the demonstration of their critical analysis skills."
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