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Albemarle Teachers Hope to Change Social Studies Curriculum

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Albemarle County teachers are working to change the narrative of slavery in Charlottesville. Albemarle County teachers are working to change the narrative of slavery in Charlottesville.
20 teachers took part on the tour. 20 teachers took part on the tour.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Albemarle County teachers are hoping to change social studies curriculum in the county to better reflect Charlottesville’s history of slavery.

The 20 teachers toured the University of Virginia's Rotunda, Vinegar Hill and the county office building on Wednesday as part of the project “Reframing the Narrative” to review and evaluate the social studies curriculum.

The goal of the tours were to learn about Charlottesville's past and how to take it back to the classroom.

"There's a sense that there's all this past that we're looking at that we haven't really acknowledged," said history and journalism teacher Jill Williams. "We have to teach the hard history and we have to teach it not as shame and blame, but we need to acknowledge where we've been."

In a recent study from Teaching Tolerance, only eight percent of high school students believe slavery is the reason why southern states left the Union before the Civil War. According to the teachers, both educators and students need to gain a deeper understanding of the past. 

"I think our history curriculum has really left out many stories," said gifted resource teacher Alexis Mason. "I really think it's important that we bring a story about empowerment, even if it's not too pretty."

The group also made a stop Court Square and included discussion of August 12, 2017 in its tour.