Florida’s Board of Ed decided to keep curriculum about benefits of slavery

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‘Disgraceful’: Florida’s Board of Ed decided to keep curriculum about benefits of slavery

‘Sounds about white.’


Tricia Crimmins


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The Decision: 

Last week, Florida’s Board of Education decided to uphold the state’s curriculum about how slavery was beneficial to Black people. Specifically, the curriculum includes lessons on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

The Backlash: 

The state’s largest teachers union, the Florida Education Association, publicly criticized the Board of Education’s decision to keep the curriculum, as did many online.

Disgraceful,” an X user tweeted about the Board’s move.

Sounds about white,” another person said on X.

The curriculum was also posted about on Reddit in the subreddit r/facepalm, named after the meme that expresses disappointment and bafflement.

This is the whitewashing of history,” a Redditor said. “The only ones that benefited from slavery were the slave owners and their descendants.”

“We need to go all John Brown on whoever in Florida thinks this [is] okay,” another Redditor wrote. John Brown was a famous abolitionist who organized slave revolts and rebellions before the Civil War.

The Background: 

The Florida Board of Education initially debuted the inaccurate curriculum on slavery as part of its 2023 social studies standards in June of last year

At the time, the Florida Education Association said the curriculum was “a disservice to Florida’s students” and “a big step backward.”

In the year since, some Florida lawmakers worked to try to change the curriculum ahead of the 2024 standards, too—but the state’s Board of Education decided to keep it the same.

“I provided the Department of Education with language that would be less inflammatory and less inaccurate than that statement,” State Senator Geraldine Thompson (D) told USA Today of the claim that slavery benefited slaves. “It is unbelievable.”

And Black Flordians have been outspoken about how the curriculum should have been changed since last June, too.

“The Board of Education ignored the voices of Black Floridians and Black Americans,” State Senator Shevrin Jones (D) told USA Today. “The state of Florida does not value the voices of the Black community when it directly misconstrues our history.”

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