Florida Approves Curriculum Teaching That Black People Gained ‘Personal Benefit’ From Slavery


The Florida Board of Education voted to greenlight on Wednesday new standards for teaching African American history in public schools despite criticism from civil rights and educations groups.

Republican governor and presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis has pushed a law since 2022 regulating how the issue of race is to be taught in the state’s schools, and education standards and parental participation are major points of Florida’s politics and the governor’s campaign.

State lawmakers passed legislation recently that forbids schools from telling students anyone is privileged or oppressed based on the color of their skin or race.

The new state standards require educators to teach middle school students that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit,” according to CNN.

Moreover, historical events where black Americans were victims of violence will require certain teaching instructions.

Per CNN:

When high school students learn about events such as the 1920 Ocoee massacre, the new rules require that instruction include “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans.” The massacre is considered the deadliest Election Day violence in US history and, according to several histories of the incident, it started when Moses Norman, a prominent Black landowner in the Ocoee, Florida, community, attempted to cast his ballot and was turned away by White poll workers.

Similar standards are noted for lessons about other massacres, including the Atlanta race massacre, the Tulsa race massacre and the Rosewood race massacre.

“Our children deserve nothing less than truth, justice, and the equity our ancestors shed blood, sweat, and tears for,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, 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.”

Meanwhile, the Florida Education Association condemned the decision, adding it was “a big step backward for a state that has required teaching African American history since 1994.”

One of the central tenets of DeSantis’s presidential campaign has been his willingness to fight back against “woke” education standards and critical race theory.

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