When publishers first gave Florida officials K-12 social studies instructional materials, the state rejected a whopping 81 percent. After working with publishers, they're now only rejecting 35 percent.
Out of the 101 materials proposed, only 19 made the cut, despite 66 receiving approval, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. State officials said that they have been working with publishers to change what the state deemed to be “inaccurate material, errors, and other information that was not aligned with Florida law.”
Some of the removed content includes changing a reference to socialist economies, which says that they offer “greater equality while still providing a fully functioning government supervised economy,” to say that socialist societies have “slow development” and “fewer technological advances.” A line saying that “as for a true communist economy, there are none in the world today" was also removed.
State officials also edited a passage about the Hebrew Bible that listed which "social justices issues are included" in the text, replacing “social justices issues” with “some of the key principles.” They also removed a paragraph about explaining why people "take a knee" during the national anthem to children.
Other challenged topics include African American history, personal financial literacy, psychology, and Holocaust education.
The social studies guidelines aren't the first example of the Florida government cracking down on education topics. The Education Department also rejected a nationally taught AP African American Studies course, with Governor Ron DeSantis accusing it of having a "political agenda." The state has also banned LGBTQ+ identities from being discussed in classrooms K-12, and is attempting to ban Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs at college-level institutions.
State Sen. Lori Berman raised concerns about the censorship, writing on Twitter, “Book banning is a tool autocrats like DeSantis use to control how and what students think about difficult issues. It’s a form of indoctrination, and unconstitutional. Florida’s students have a right to receive information and form their own viewpoints."
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