The Florida move was widely anticipated as national debate about how race should be used as a lens in the classroom to study the turbulent history of the country intensified.
Republican Governor Ron DeSantis appeared in a video at the top of the board meeting, urging members to adopt the new measures he claimed, rather than “trying to teach the ideology” the facts. Insisted that it would be offered to students.
The Black Lives Matter movement has helped bring controversial debates about race to the forefront of American discourse, and the classroom has become a battlefield. Proponents argue that federal law maintains unequal treatment of people based on race and that the country was founded on the basis of land and labor theft.
Opponents of critical racial theory say that school children should not be taught that America is basically a racist. Republican-led state governors and legislatures across the country are considering or signing legislation that limits the way teachers build American history.
Both have accused the other of violating the right to freedom of speech of countless people by politicizing classroom instruction and limiting the permissible perspectives.
Florida law already requires schools to teach many basics, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Holocaust, and African-American history, but topics are often confusing. Current events, including the killing of blacks by police, have intensified the debate.
Some have called for a “faithful” interpretation of US history in honor of the founding of the country as a rebellion against oppressive British rule. However, some Americans, especially blacks, Native Americans, Latin Americans, and Asian Americans, claim that textbooks and classroom discussions often lack dissenting opinions.
The new rules state that classroom instruction “must be factual and objective, and not restrain or distort significant historical events.” It also touches on the Holocaust, slavery, the Civil War, civil rights movements, blacks, Hispanics, and women’s contributions to the country.
But it also specifically mentions “theories that distort historical events,” which contradict the policies of the Board, including teachings that deny the Holocaust and support critical racial theories. .. But that racism has been incorporated into American society and its legal system to maintain white hegemony. “
During his brief appearance on Thursday, DeSantis called how some instructors deviated from what he and others think of the basics of history as “ridiculous.”
“I think some of these things are really toxic,” DeSantis told the school board. “I think it will cause a lot of division. I think people will think more about themselves as members of a particular race based on their skin color rather than on their personality content or their efforts. And what they are trying to accomplish in life. “
The Florida Education Association has called on the Board to reject the proposal.
An association representing teachers across Florida has called on the board to remove inflammatory language from the proposed rules. The most painful point was the use of “education” in the rules. It states that the union is overly negative about teaching in the classroom. However, the word remained in the rules adopted by the board.
“The job of an educator is to challenge students with facts and allow them to ask and think critically about information, which is an antithesis of indoctrination,” said Cathy, a public policy advocate of the association.・ Boehme told the board. “Regardless of our color, background or zip code, we give our children the courage to be honest about who we are, honesty and how we treat others and do the right thing. I want to receive the education I give. “
More than 20 civilians talked about the issue, and their opinions were divided and enthusiastic. The board meeting at Jacksonville State University was temporarily adjourned as one speaker exceeded the time limit and began chanting to assist teachers.
One woman said it was important for children to learn how slavery, racism and Jim Crow’s legacy still “created an uneven competition for blacks” and introduced new rules. I begged the board to refuse.
Others have talked about how an interpretation of personal history can reflect personal agendas and prejudices that can lead to conversions of children.
The new rules also prohibit the use of the 1619 project, a classroom program created by the New York Times project that focuses on teaching about slavery and African-American history. The name of the project refers to the year in which it is generally believed that slaves were first brought to colonial America.
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