Florida eliminates Black Lives Matter and George Floyd from school curriculum

Florida Students to Receive New Social Studies Textbooks Without Recent Social Issues

The Florida Department of Education has approved new textbooks for social studies for Florida schools, but they will not include recent social issues. The adoption process occurs every few years, and the new textbooks will not cover the Black Lives Matter movement and other current events due to new laws that regulate what can be taught in classrooms, including the so-called “Stop WOKE Act.”

The new textbooks have caused controversy due to their omission of current events, including the Black Lives Matter movement and social justice rallies that occurred nationwide in 2020. Robert Mitchell, the founder of Muck City Black Lives Matter in the Glades, criticized the textbook’s lack of coverage of the movement and called it “an attempt to hide the truth and discount the contributions of Black Americans to the U.S.”

Florida’s education department cited this omission as one example of the content that publishers had to modify before their books could be accepted and purchased by schools. In a middle school textbook, paragraphs under the heading “New Calls for Social Justice” described the Black Lives Matter movement and the killing of George Floyd. The state’s education department regarded this content as an “unsolicited topic” and required publishers to remove it before approving the textbooks.

Other content removed from the textbooks included a description of socialism, as well as a reference to taking a knee during the national anthem in an elementary school textbook. Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz defended the changes, stating that the state must ensure its students and teachers have the highest quality materials available, “materials that focus on historical facts and are free from inaccuracies or ideological rhetoric.”

According to state education leaders, only 19% of the initial materials submitted were approved. However, after working with publishers to remove content deemed inaccurate or not aligned with Florida law, 66% of the material was approved for use in the state’s schools. While the new textbooks will not cover recent social issues, they will still provide a comprehensive overview of Florida’s social studies curriculum.

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