Florida bans important racing theory from classes


Florida on Thursday passed a new rule to prevent the teaching of critical racing theory in public schools, led by Governor Ron DeSantis, as a way to prevent the teaching of “discriminating founders” history in public classrooms.

DeSantis, after the book of national conservative games, said he should not allow instructors to “teach children to hate their country.”

But critics of the rule and many speakers at the Jacksonville meeting say DeSantis and his GOP supporters are blocking schools from considering racism and its impact on America and teaching history that only white people care about. .

See also: Keep the critical racing theory out of the classroom, according to the Alabama State School Board

“It’s an effort to whitewash history, cover up and candy jackets,” said Ben Frazier, president of Jacksonville’s Northside Coalition. “Let the teachers tell the truth.”

Speaking via video link, the governor told the State Board of Education that he did not want to prevent children from learning about the slave or civil rights movement, only to make sure they did not hear untrue “legends.” ‘ra, he wants to avoid studying‘ false history ’, where they are‘ looking back, discrediting the founders, insulting the American Revolution ’.

In his brief address, he did not suggest instances where Florida teachers held incorrect history lessons, but cited problems in schools in Arizona and New York.

The council voted on the rule after hearing the words of the governor and more than 30 speakers. Florida is among more than a dozen Republican-led states demanding a ban on critical racing theory from schools this year.

Critical racing theory, the legal framework that originally examined how racism affected the country’s institutions, is not a subject taught in public schools in Florida and is also not explicitly stated in the original proposed rule, but DeSantis says it prevents it from being taught.

Critics of the theory often use the term in a broad sense to describe a program that raises concerns about diversity and racism in schools, such as the origins of different groups of students and the historical lessons they see in the books children read in class. divisible and anti-American.

Council member Tom Grady suggested amending the rules to add a phrase of critical racial theory, saying teachers could “distort history” or “enslave American history by relying on materials such as the New York Times’ 1619 project.” sought to “add” and “restore” into. is the center of our national story. “The project has been heavily criticized by former President Donald Trump and some historians.

The amended version of the rules was adopted unanimously.

Jacob Oliva, chancellor for K-12 education at the Florida Department of Education, said the rule ensures that teachers adhere to state academic standards and prevent “disruption” in their classrooms.

But critics say it is an attempt to keep students from studying an unadorned version of American history.

“We won’t let you call your history fake news because you can’t decide the truth,” a man from Osceola County told the board. “Black history is American history.”

DeSantis ’pursuit of the new rule is seen by critics as partly a reaction to the racial equality protests that have plagued the country since the death of George Floyd last year and attempts by some school districts to take a critical look. according to their own policies.

“Teaching the facts does not unite the country, but leads to the division of the country,” said Wells Todd and DeSantis of the Jacksonville Development Coalition, who in their address spoke of slavery and civil rights, not recognizing reconstruction, lynching and segregation. need to be taught.

“Students deserve the best education we can give them, and that means giving them a real idea of ​​their world and our common history as Americans. Hiding facts doesn’t change them,” the Florida Teachers’ Union said. President Andrew Spar said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Florida Education Association also called the proposed rule an insult to teachers because they say it is impossible to “educate” students, as Spar et al.

But proponents of the new rule said the critical racing theory is controversial and harmful.

“We all know that dividing our country by class and race is a Marxist tactic,” Bennett Brown told the Florida Family Policy Council.

Kvisha, of Jacksonville’s “Mother of Mothers for Freedom,” called it an attempt to make white children feel like oppressors and victims of others.

“It’s racist to tell my child that they are in a situation where they are constantly oppressed,” King said.

“Don’t let schools teach kids to be ashamed of their race,” says the conservative Florida Citizens Alliance conservative group, urging DeSantis to eliminate critical racing theory and “many of its idiots” from state schools.

The seven state council members who voted on the Florida rule were appointed by DeSantis or former Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican colleague who now serves as one of the U.S. senators, so their approval was not surprising.

On May 27, Scott presented a resolution criticizing the Senate’s critical racism theory and saying that “efforts to” incorporate the subject into schools “were” ultimately designed to change the U.S. economic system by tarnishing it and creating hatred for all its institutions. “

Florida’s new rule states that teachers may not “share their personal views or try to persuade or persuade students to a particular point of view that does not meet state standards.”

It also states that “guidance on relevant topics must be genuine and objective and may not suppress or undermine important historical events such as the Holocaust, slavery, civil war and reconstruction, the civil rights movement and women’s contributions,” Afro- the American and Spanish people to our country. ”

Gregory Sampson, a high school math teacher in Jacksonville, thinks DeSantis, who has been identified as a potential presidential candidate for the 2024 election, will use critical race theory to score political points with Trump’s base.

“I don’t think the governor and his Republicans really understand what critical race theory means,” he said in an interview. “It’s not a criticism,” he said. It’s a critique, a way of looking at how history unfolds. “

And that means acknowledging racism. “There. You can’t deny that, ”Sampson said of education on his angry old teacher’s blog. But in his opinion, DeSantis wants to go back to a time when there was no talk of racing.

“In the old days, separatism, Jim Crow and unrecognized White supremacy were like that,” he wrote in a recent blog post.

DeSantis also urges the state to rewrite civic standards, rewriting social learning criteria for students in kindergarten up to 12th grade. The move turned out to be controversial because he wants to focus on “the success of the United States” in these lessons.

The state council is set to vote on July 14 on the new citizenship criteria.

© 2021 Orlando Sentinel. Visit orlandosentinel.com. LBL, LLC.

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