Blackman offers new course focusing on women’s history


Savannah Brown

Blackman offered a new semester class called “History of Women in America.”

Blackman High School has had some changes in the curriculum this year, both adding and subtracting classes. 

The newest addition this year was History of Women in America. 

Just before the summer, the counselors sent out information about this class. This was after many had already selected theirs, so there were only enough people to make one full class this year, first semester. 

“They sent out an email at the end of last year, and [the class] sounded really cool, so I went ahead and signed up,” stated Lena McDaniel, senior. 

The class was originally supposed to be taught by Natalie McDowell, but she became one of Blackman’s instructional coaches. Instead, Tara Bunner, an English IV teacher with a background in history, stepped forward and decided to teach. 

“Over the summer when I was filling in for Ms. Stone, and so when Ms. Stone got the assistant principal position, Ms. McDowell took Ms. Stone’s old [position] . . . All the history department was men again, so they asked if I would [teach this class]. I also had a history certification,” said Bunner. “[McDowell] handed me all the stuff that she lined out, and she gave me a few of the books [she had]. She sort of laid out the timeline for me.” 

Because the class is a semester elective course, there are no state standards for what the class has to learn, so Bunner is allowed to focus on what she wants to focus on based on student interest. 

“[My favorite part] is that we can get off topic, and it’s okay. We can get off topic, but we still go off on a tangent about something that we were extra interested in,” said Hannah Commodore, senior. “There’s lots of really cool women in history that I didn’t know about, like Agent 355.” 

In early January, a new movie called 355 released that featured women spies from across the world, an homage to Agent 355 from the American Revolution. 

Pop culture, politics, and many other areas have been focusing more and more on women’s rights and history, revealing how much has been done by women over the years. 

“I think in U.S. History we didn’t get a great understanding of women’s role in the founding of America, so I think this class is really opening our eyes to a different perspective of U.S. History,” stated Claire Harvie, senior. 

In future years, Bunner wishes to teach this class again because of how much fun she had this year with it. 

“I’m hoping [this class] will bring more awareness that there is a gap in some of the coverage [of women’s history]. It’s not a ‘male-bashing’ thing, it’s just the way that we have always done things and doing them a little differently would be a little more inclusive. I don’t think anyone was ugly on purpose back in the day,” said Bunner. 

This women’s history class joined other inclusive classes at Blackman, showing how accepting BHS is about people from all walks of life.