Florida Educational System – On track to the dark ages


Southwest Tribune Newspaper, Rochester, NY

It has been reported that the Florida Board of Education recently approved a controversial rule that allows teachers to withhold certain historical events and concepts from their curriculum, including the teaching of critical race theory and the historical contributions of certain groups, including Black Americans.
The decision to remove Black History from Florida Schools has sparked significant debate and criticism from those who believe that removing certain historical events and concepts from the curriculum could be detrimental to the education and understanding of future generations.
Black History is an essential part of the American story, and it is important that all students learn about the struggles and contributions of Black Americans throughout history. Removing Black History from the curriculum could send the wrong message about the importance of diversity and inclusion in our society.
It is important to note that this decision only affects Florida schools, and other states may have different policies regarding the teaching of Black History and other historical concepts.
Florida has a complex history with race relations, dating back to the time of European colonization in the 16th century. Some key events and issues include:
Slavery: Florida was a slave state from its admission to the Union in 1845 until the end of the Civil War in 1865. The state's economy was heavily dependent on agriculture, including cotton, tobacco, and sugar cane, which were all produced using slave labor.
Reconstruction and Jim Crow: After the Civil War, Florida was part of the Reconstruction South, during which time Black Americans gained some political power and civil rights. However, Reconstruction ended in 1877, and Florida, like many other Southern states, implemented Jim Crow laws that enforced segregation and discrimination against Black Americans.
Civil Rights Movement: Florida was a key battleground in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. The state was home to important leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the influential Tallahassee bus boycott of 1956.
Current issues: Florida still grapples with issues of race relations, including persistent racial disparities in areas such as education, housing, and criminal justice. Recent events, such as the shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the protests following the death of George Floyd in 2020, have highlighted the ongoing need for progress and reform.
It is important to note that this is just a brief overview of Florida's history with race relations, and there are many other events and issues that have shaped the state's complex and nuanced relationship with race.
"African Americans in Florida: An Overview" by the State Library and Archives of Florida: https://www.floridamemory.com/exhibits/african-american-history/
"Florida and the Civil Rights Movement" by the Florida Department of State: https://dos.myflorida.com/florida-facts/florida-history/florida-and-the-civil-rights-movement/
"Racial Disparities in Florida" by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida: https://www.aclufl.org/en/issues/racial-justice/racial-disparities-florida
"The Trayvon Martin Case, Explained" by Vox: https://www.vox.com/2014/2/26/5458944/the-trayvon-martin-case-explained
"George Floyd protests: Florida cities start to lift curfews" by the Orlando Sentinel: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/florida/os-ne-florida-protests-curfew-20200602-7e3hhru2gvcnvl3q3yk3qk35we-story.html
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