CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — The Cherry Hill School District is now the first in New Jersey to require students to take African American history in order to graduate. The school board approved the move Tuesday night.
Students had lobbied for the course to become mandatory. The charge was led by seventh-grader Ebele Azikiwe, of Beck Middle School.
Ebele penned a letter last summer to the school district, asking for a more comprehensive and accurate curriculum on African American history.
“Part of what we learn today is important, yes, but it’s hardly anything compared to what we could and should learn,” Ebele said.
“They’ve asked for a mandatory African American history class as a requirement to graduate from high school and that’s something we are moving forward with,” Cherry Hill Superintendent Dr. Joseph Meloche said in October.
Until now, the district offered an African American studies course as an elective.
This course requirement goes into effect in September.