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[Susan notes: This fine letter summarizes an incident, connects that incident to broader implications, and offers good advice.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Re A Student Counterprotest to an Anti-Protest Curriculum (news article, Sept. 24):

Kudos to the protesting Jefferson County, Colo., high school students. Their walkout over the school board's proposal of a curriculum review committee to guard against educational materials that "encourage or condone civil disorder" was truly inspirational.

The actions of these students bring to mind the words of a great American, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday is a federal holiday: "Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights." Of course, if the school board gets its way, students would never read his final speech, delivered the day before he was killed in 1968.

Students charged that the school board's effort to erase history was "stupid." Perhaps not. Students who never learn about their rights might never exercise them, which might be exactly what the school board wants.

So, to the students: Keep protesting and attending social studies class. The rights you learn about may be your own!

The writer is a professor of social studies education at Hofstra University.

Andrea S. Libresco

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