Florida’s Backward Black History Standards Teach Kids That Slavery Was Beneficial
The Florida Board of Education has reached a new low.
The board recently approved a new set of standards on how educators should teach Black history in the state’s public schools, CNN reports, and educators are calling it “a step backward.”
According to the Florida Department of Education’s website, the new standards require middle school student’s Black history lessons to include “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
For high school students, when it comes to lessons on massacres—such as the 1920 Ocoee massacre—the new rules state instruction includes “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans.” That includes other massacre events like the Atlanta, Tulsa, and Rosewood race massacres.
Education and civil rights advocates like NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson say students should be allowed to learn the “full truth” of American history.
“Our children deserve nothing less than truth, justice, and the equity our ancestors shed blood, sweat, and tears for,” Johnson said in a statement. “It is imperative that we understand that the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow were a violation of human rights and represent the darkest period in American history.”
The Florida Education Association called the rules “a disservice to students” and called Governor Ron DeSantis out for his anti-woke agenda.
“Gov. DeSantis is pursuing a political agenda guaranteed to set good people against one another, and in the process, he’s cheating our kids,” the president of the Florida Education Association, Andrew Spar said, according to HuffPost. “They deserve the full truth of American history, the good and the bad.”
Florida’s attack on Black history has been making headlines since the beginning of the year. Months ago, the board banned Advanced Placement African American Studies in high schools across the state, claiming the course “significantly lacks educational value” and contradicted Florida law. Several books coordinating with those courses were banned, including works by Kimberlé Crenshaw, bell hooks, and Angela Davis.