"Refuse. Show some backbone"
|Posted: 05 June 2023 at 4:45pm | IP Logged | 8
The story in the link leaves out crucial information, including that the changes made by the publisher weren't requested by any state, and the changes were reversed before the materials were delivered to any schools.
According to the publisher, individuals in the publisher's curriculum team "severely overreacted" in their interpretation of Florida's HB7 legislation, and made unapproved changes to the text, including the omission of race from the Rosa Parks story.
A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Education told CNN "No one from the Florida Department of Education has requested or would request the mention of race to be removed from social studies text books, as that would clearly be contrary to the...requirements of Florida law." Also, Florida has "robust requirements for the teaching of African American History...(the law) specifically requires discussion of topics such as slavery, racial oppression, racial segregation, and racial discrimination."
Here is what HB7 actually requires, from the text of the bill:
"Members of the instructional staff of the public shools...shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historical accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, the following:
The history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, Abolition, and the history and contributions of Americans of the African diaspora to society. Students shall develop an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on individual freedoms, and examine what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purpose of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society, and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions. Instruction shall include the roles and contributions of individuals from all walks of life and their endeavors to learn and thrive throughout history as artists, scientists, educators, businesspeople, influential thinkers, members of the faith community, and political and governmental leaders , and the courageous steps they took to fulfill the promise of democracy and unite the nation. Instructional materials shall include the vital contributions of African Americans to build and strengthen American society and celebrate the inspirational stories of African Americans who prospered, even in the most difficult circumstances. Instructional personnel may facilitate discussions and use curricula to address, in an age appropriate manner, how the freedoms of individual persons have been infringed by slavery, racial oppression, racial segregation, and racial discrimination, and how recognition of these freedoms has overturned these unjust laws."
The law purports to prevent educators from "indoctrinating" students by prohibiting the following:
"4(a). It shall constitute discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex under this section to subject any student...to...instruction that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such student to believe any of the following concepts:
1. Members of one race, color, national origin or sex are morally superior to members of another race, color, national origin or sex.
2. A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
3. A persons moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, national origin or sex.
4. Members of one race, color, national origin or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race, color, national origin, or sex.
5. A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin or sex bears responsibility for, or should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin or sex.
6. A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin or sex should be discriminated against, or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion.
7. A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin or sex bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the person played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin or sex.
8. Such virtues as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness, neutrality, objectivity, and racial colorblindness are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race, color, national origin or sex, to oppress members of another race, color, national origin or sex.
b. Paragraph (a) may not be construed to prohibit discussion of the concepts listed therein as part of a larger course of training or instruction, provided such training or instruction is given in an objective manner without endorsement of the concepts."
The authors of this legislation clearly believe there are no current laws on the books that promote racism, and that the impact of systemic racism on African Americans is a thing of the past. So Florida students will still be indoctrinated; just with a different message.
Having said that, I think a fair reading of the law makes it clear that Florida would not have prohibited teaching that Rosa Parks was discriminated against based on her race.