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Utah school gave option to opt out of Black History Month activities, then reversed course

"We are grateful that families that initially had questions and concerns have willingly come to the table to resolve any differences."

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Signs referencing Black History Month at Wells Fargo Center on February 4, 2020
Signs referencing Black History Month at Wells Fargo Center on February 4, 2020
(Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Updated: February 7, 2021 - 9:37pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A Utah charter school that originally gave families an option to opt-out of Black History Month activities has now canceled the option.

"Celebrating Black History Month is part of our tradition. We regret that after receiving requests, an opt-out form was sent out concerning activities planned during this month of celebration," a statement on the school's website said.

”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.”

The Standard-Examiner had reported that Maria Montessori Academy Director Micah Hirokawa in a Friday Facebook post indicated that "a few families" had requested not to take part in instruction pertaining to Black History Month.

"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," Hirokawa explained in the post, according to the outlet. "I personally see a lot of value in teaching our children about the mistreatment, challenges, and obstacles that people of color in our Nation have had to endure and what we can do today to ensure that such wrongs don’t continue."