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City council encourages APS to create 'Atlanta History' social studies course

Councilmembers Keisha Waites and Matt Westmoreland are sponsoring an ordinance to create the course.

ATLANTA — Atlanta City Council members are encouraging the school district to create a social studies course that focuses on the history of the city.

Councilmembers Keisha Waites and Matt Westmoreland are sponsoring an ordinance to create the course "Atlanta History" and have it count as a social science credit for Atlanta Public Schools students.

"Teaching the history of Atlanta and its communities helps build pride and sustain its identity while highlighting its historic significance to the state and our country," the resolution reads.

The curriculum is expected to focus on historic and iconic buildings, landmarks and a timeline of the development of the city's government and departments. Teachers are expected to also add context to Atlanta's moniker, "The Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement" by teaching the history of notable leaders and moments such as Rev. Joseph E. Boone, William B. Hartsfield, Samuel Inman, the Atlanta Student Movement, Jamida Orange, just to name a few.

"Understanding the more difficult and bleak times of the past can help add greater context and understand of the present and the future," the resolution states. Suggested events to outline in the curriculum include the Atlanta Race Massacre of 1906 and the Atlanta child murders of 1979-1981.

Councilmembers said since "Georgia History" is offered as a course, this proposed class should also be made available to students in APS.

If the resolution passes, the next step would be for the Municipal Clerk to distribute the electronic copies to the State Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer and all Board of Education Members of APS. 

Councilmembers will consider the measure during the next City Council Meeting on Monday, Feb. 20.

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