Missouri lawmaker’s resolution to encourage black history lessons has some metro teachers optimistic

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Just weeks after FOX4’s report on the lack of black history education in local classrooms, a Missouri state representative is taking action.

On Thursday, State Rep. Tommie Pierson officially filed House Concurrent Resolution 90. The purpose is to encourage black history lessons in schools.

RELATED: Where schools nationally fail, some metro schools excel with black history classes

This differs from a bill because it doesn't change the law or make lessons mandatory. Pierson simply calls it a conversation starter.

And teachers in the metro agree it’s a good start.

“Experienced teachers like myself who take pride in their identity -- I take pride in being black -- we should have already been building that into our curriculum," said Jessica Auld, a fourth grade teacher at Hogan Preparatory Academy.

"But knowing that it is becoming more suggested to other teachers is a beautiful thing because it is not hard to build it in. It’s just making sure that we build in the right things."

Auld said she and other teachers will continue leading by example.

On Friday, her school hosting their first ever Black History Month event. Students sang inspirational songs and recreated a living history museum with significant black figures.

Teachers said these lessons are important for all students.

“The district-wide is going through a really nice shift culture-wise, and we have a lot of teachers and principals that are backing this as well, so that gives you a lot of confidence,” school behavior interventionist Terrence Reveles said.

In a statement to FOX4, Pierson said the resolution, “allows us to begin to educate my fellow representatives of the importance of black history. I do think it's important that (black history) be part of the curriculum of Missouri schools. This is the first step toward making it happen.”

In the future, Pierson said his ultimate goal is to introduce a bill to mandate black history curriculum.

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