By Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida
TALLAHASSEE — Backing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign against critical race theory, the State Board of Education on Thursday approved a rule that places controversial guidelines on the way U.S. history is taught in public schools.
The board, meeting in Jacksonville, voted after members of the public squared off on the rule, with some saying it would whitewash history and others saying it would prevent Marxist theory from being taught in Florida classrooms.
DeSantis has made a major issue of targeting critical race theory, which is based on the premise that racism is embedded within American society and institutions. He appeared by video at the beginning of Thursday’s meeting to urge board members to approve the rule.
“We need to be educating people, not trying to indoctrinate them with ideology,” DeSantis said.
But Ben Frazier, president of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, said the plan is a “Republican political propaganda campaign” and said teachers need to be able to teach the truth about slavery and other racial issues.
“This board should stop attempting to sanitize and to clear up the ugly horrors of history that make white folks feel uncomfortable,” Frazier, who is Black, said.
The rule, in part, says teachers “may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”
It also says teachers facilitating discussions can’t “share their personal views or attempt to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view” that is inconsistent with state standards.
Before giving final approval Thursday, the board adopted additions that, in part, included references to instruction on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Also, the additions more specifically addressed that critical race theory should not be taught.
Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran supported the changes proposed by board member Tom Grady, saying they would help provide clarity to teachers.
“It’s a great, transparent way for teachers to understand exactly what this board is saying and to be able to read it and to know they are protected,” Corcoran said.
The rule has spurred statewide controversy, with Grady saying members’ “inboxes were blowing up with comments from people.”
That was evident as board members listened to the public at Thursday’s meeting. Speakers on each side cited the need to teach historical facts — but clearly disagreed on what those facts might be.
Opponents of the rule argued that it is designed to prevent teachers from giving a full picture of issues such as slavery, lynching and segregation. Speaker Wells Tood said the rule was an attempt to censor teachers.
“Teaching the facts will bring the country together, not divide the country,” Todd,a member of groups such as the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition, told the board. “And the only reason that I can see that y’all don’t want that to happen is because you are ashamed of the history.”
But supporters of the bill said critical race theory needs to be blocked, with several describing it as Marxist.
“We all know it’s a Marxist tactic to divide our country by class and by race,” said Bennett Brown, a Duval County resident and board member of the Florida Family Policy Council.
Brown urged the teaching of “truth about the history of our country. Truth and facts. … As you all know, our history has got good and bad and ugly. But we ought to teach the truth and that the United States of America is a great and wonderful land with freedom for all. Please teach that.”
CRT is a racist program teaching kids they’re either the oppressor or the oppressed (skin color). History is meant to keep the next generation from repeating the mistakes of the past.
It would be good if, in the last couple years of HS, besides Calculus, Chemistry, Physics…intros, they would let students get a bit of a taste of both Zinn & Folsom & Skousen, Marx & Keynes & Ricardo & Menger & Sowell & Hazlitt & von Mises, cousin Obummer & Mark Levin. Maybe teach them a bit about debates & debating, including the Federalists vs. anti-Federalists (i.e. power centralizers & power separators, rights violators vs. natural/inherent rights respecters), Douglas vs. Lincoln.
Maybe a section on the slave trade in Feodosiya (Crimea), the Circassian & Scandihoovian slaves sold South, the 75K+ slaves Rome took after one battle at the end of the Punic wars, the Slavic slaves Charlemagne took in border battles (& the defeated he left free after they were baptized), the British slaves that pope Gregory urged should be purchased & freed, the Jewish slaves, then work up to Wilberforce, New England abolitionists, the people who bought slaves to take them to the NorthWest Territory & freedom (Robert Carter & others, I can’t recall a fraction of the names), “bleeding Kansas” & John Brown from Osawatomie. Maybe 15 minutes on cousin Obummer’s slave 8th (or 9th?) great-grand-father (John Punch) being the first person placed in chattel slavery in Virginia… sentenced to it after the third time he tried to run out on his indenture, but that his son (John Bunch) was a free owner of land & slaves. Maybe mention the several bills Jefferson proposed to end slavery, his law-suits to free slaves due to violations of contractual obligations to do so… Oh, and the complicated Amerindian slave/slave-owner history in both North & South.
Then, once they have context, they can take a week on the illiberal leftist/Dem/Red party’s continuing slavery, racism perpetuating, & Jim Crow measures.
Oh great, so they hear rosey cozy history k-12 that does not point out the USA had growing pains. When they get to college they get a liberal point of view that will show bad things happened.
Got it, ty…
Awww… “boomer”… how cute. Thanks Larry, but your retort proves that the DemoKKKrat Party hasn’t changed a bit. Nice projection attempt, Saul.
Hang in their sport… the other one will drop some day.
Eddie, you are aware that the Dem party of the past isn’t the same as the present after the Great Southern Strategy following Jim Crow, aren’t you?
It also has no relevance to the discussion at hand, but when has that ever stopped a boomer?
100% dead-nuts-on Barb… concise and factual… well done.
Critical race theory is a Marxist ideology. It was used in China to ensure the success of the cultural revolution. In China, they used the theory to divide people by class. Here they are using it to divide people by race.
People need to educate themselves about how communism takes hold in a country and realize what’s going on in this country.
Well Larry… so long as it’s all taught under the umbrella of truth that everything you mentioned was and remains a core foundation of the DemoKKKrat Party.
It was/is the DemoKKKrat Party that fought protect the “peculiar institution” of slavery and birthed the necessity of Trail of Tears… it was/is the DemoKKKrat Party that forced black Americans to fight for the right to vote… it was the DemoKKKrat Party that created Jim Crow and participate in the bus boycotts… it was/is the DemoKKKrat Party (Dementia Joe Biden in particular) that fought to continue segregation.
… and to be clear, THOSE are some cold hard facts
A start to ending Racism: Do away with Affirmative Action. ALSO do away with the Black Caucus, all of the Miss Black Pageants, Black Awards Events, any thing that is Black only OR, allow Whites to do the same. ALSO, go after Blacks for using the “N”word just as hard as you do Whites.
There are some really goofy bits to CRT. It should NOT be taught in schools.
But, to NOT teach that the civil war was started to protect the “peculiar institution” of slavery, or that atrocities such as the Trail of Tears happened, or that the land deals for native Americans was reneged upon establishing the significantly smaller reservations, or that black Americans had to fight for the right to vote and deal with Jim Crow and participate in the bus boycotts, etc.
Well, that’s just ignoring cold, hard facts and there’s nothing honest about that.
It is not controversial to say America was founded on the universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence. That is what the founders tried to create when breaking away from the British. Does not mean that all U.S. history is perfect? No, but we’ve been trying to make a more perfect union for the last 250 years. America is probably the least racist nation on the planet considering that we are the most diverse nation in history.
The race card has been abused and misused by the DemoKKKrats and their Media PACs so much than it now falls on deaf ears. We’ve been celebrating Black History Month for well of a year now, and most people have become numb over it all. Once again the DemoKKKats have played their SOP to a miserable degree of failure.
“Manufacture Shark; Feed Shark; Jump Shark”
I’m so relieved they ended racism…never happened, doesn’t exist. Finally.
Cant wait to see how Crist, Demmings, and Weed play this out with their perceived supporters. Most of their supporters dont have any childern. Or if some of their offspring somehow survived abortion most of their supporters dont have kids they care about.