Florida’s Board of Education approved new Black History curriculum standards last week. The new guidelines come after the implementation of a conservative-backed law that mandates lessons on race be taught in an “objective” manner that does not attempt to “indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.”
DeSantis Doubles Down On Slavery Education Policy
The African American history standards in Florida now include “benchmark clarifications,” which provide additional information to educators on how to address certain topics. One such benchmark instructs them to teach students “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”
Another “benchmark clarification” directs teachers to discuss “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans” in lessons focused on the destruction of Black communities during Reconstruction.
In a statement to reporters Friday, DeSantis said that he "wasn't involved" in the creation or implementation of the new standards, but defended the controversial section that teaches the "personal benefit" of slavery.
“They’re probably going to show that some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life," he said.
DeSantis and the curriculum have faced intense backlash, including from Vice President Kamala Harris, who travelled to Florida on Friday specifically to condemn the new history standards.
"They want to replace history with lies," she said in her statements. "These extremist, so-called leaders should model what we know to be the correct and right approach if we really are invested in the well being of our children. Instead, they dare to push propaganda to our children."
Harris also directly referenced the controversial slavery section, stating: "How is it that anyone could suggest that in the midst of these atrocities that there was any benefit to being subjected to this level of dehumanization?"
- Former Students Reveal Ron DeSantis Was a Problematic High School Teacher ›
- DeSantis Guantanamo Bay Documentary Pulled From Programming ›
- Under Ron DeSantis, Our Site Couldn't Exist ›
- Florida Schools Could Twist Black History with PragerU Videos ›
- What Is PragerU? Two States Now Allow the Controversial Content in Classrooms ›
- DeSantis Blamed For Jacksonville Shooting Deaths During Audience Confrontation ›