American history should not be sugarcoated

As a recent Illinois high school graduate, I know better than most in our community how American history is taught in schools. The history I learned was good but often focused on just the highlights – think the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. It wasn’t perfect or entirely complete, but it was a better curriculum than many students across the country receive.

That’s why I am proud to support the work of the Learn from History coalition. At its core, the coalition is here to support students learning a full and accurate history education. Together, we know that students (like me and my fellow 2021 grads) need critical thinking skills to be the leaders of tomorrow in a complex, diverse society. That means having the freedom to pursue our dreams through a high-quality education.

My perspective on students learning false history is plain and simple: I don’t believe that we should be teaching students history or social studies that doesn’t provide students with the entire truth. Students deserve to know the whole and real truth of our history, not just half of it. Just like the sign I made in support of this work (pictured below!), American history should not be sugarcoated.

I hope you’ll join me and lend your voice to the Learn from History coalition. Your voice, joined with others across my the country, are the strongest ambassadors we have to ensure that schools can continue teaching fact-based history to students. 

Learn from History has a toolkit that’s right for you, whether you’re a school system leader, a parent, an educator, or a school board member. These resources will help in your local community.

Students like me are joining with parents, teachers, community leaders, and concerned Americans to help ensure young people can learn from history. Don’t allow us to be shortchanged of the skills we need for the future – we deserve an honest history education.

If they succeed and deny us that, history will keep repeating itself.

I hope you’ll join us.

Savannah Snyder

Savannah is an incoming college freshman from Illinois.