Chicago — A Utah charter school allowed parents to opt out of Black History Month, but after facing backlash, it is no longer an option.
Maria Montessori Academy Director Micah Hirokawa told The Hill that all school families are now participating in the lessons.
“We regret that after receiving requests, an opt-out form was sent out concerning activities planned during this month of celebration. We are grateful that families that initially had questions and concerns have willingly come to the table to resolve any differences and at this time no families are opting out of our planned activities and we have removed this option. In the future, we will handle all parental concerns on an individual basis,” wrote Hirokawa in the “Utah Montessorians” Facebook group.
According to a post by the director in the group, “a few families” had asked not to participate in Black History Month-related instruction. “Reluctantly, I sent out a letter to our school community explaining that families are allowed to exercise their civil rights to not participate in Black History Month at the school,” he wrote in the post.
Only three of the 322 students at the North Ogden school are Black, and white students make up nearly 70 percent of the academy’s population, according to the Utah State Board of Education.
The school will move forward this month with learning lessons highlighting Black history and achievements. “We are excited to celebrate the rich content of Black History Month at our school,” wrote Hirokawa.