In Florida, the Department of Education has adopted controversial new rules on the teaching of slavery in public schools. Among other things, the new rules require teachers to teach their students that slavery allowed slaves to “develop skills.” The Democratic opposition denounces this fact as a step backwards.
With RFI Miami correspondent David Thomson
This 200-page document details new pedagogical guidelines for teaching the history of slavery, racial segregation, and African-Americans in Florida schools.
“They developed skills”
The document recommends first highlighting the positive influences of illustrious African-Americans such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Barack Obama… But where the Florida Department of Education is causing controversy is with its instructions recommending that teachers teach students that slaves “developed skills” that they could “apply to their personal benefit.”
Another highly questioned passage refers to the teaching of racial crimes that, according to the new educational regulations in Florida, were “perpetrated against blacks but also by African-Americans.”
“A Huge Step Back”
The new rules were approved Thursday by the Department of Education, led by Manny Diaz, a close friend of Gov. Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump’s main rival in the Republican primary who has vowed to end what he calls “woke indoctrination” in public education.
For its part, the opposition warns: “It amazes me that Florida continues to justify slavery in 2023,” said Shevrin Jones, a member of the Florida Senate, himself a professor and black. The main teachers’ union denounced the bill as “a huge step backwards”.