Students Protest After Principal Tells NYC English Teacher Not to Do Black History Month Lesson

Students at one New York City middle school are learning the power of protest at a young age, after their principal rejected an English teacher's Black History Month lesson.

At Bronx’s M.S. 224, students protested their English teacher Mercedes Liriano-Clark’s right to educate them on black history after she was told by the school’s principal, Patricia Catania, to stop teaching her students on the Harlem Renaissance.

Liriano-Clark alleges Catania told her to stop her lesson on the Harlem Renaissance because she is not a social studies teacher. Despite the principal’s order, she refused to stop her lessons.

“Black history will continue in my classroom. Black history will continue at M.S. 224, every day,” said Liriano-Clark.

The New York City Department of Education has begun an investigation into the allegations at the school. 

"African-American history is an important part of the school’s curriculum, and the students are currently working on projects related to Black History Month that will be presented and highlighted at the end of February," the district said in a statement.

Activists are calling on the city for more anti-biased training in order to make real change.

“This has to happen immediately, so that our children do not have to continue to suffer in this way,” said education activist Natasha Capers.

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