Florida has officially banned “critical race theory” from being taught in public school classrooms, sparking widespread backlash.
On Thursday, Florida’s state Board of Education adopted new rules meant to shield children from school teachings that could “distort historical events.” Republican Governor Ron DeSantis appeared via video chat during the school board’s meeting, where he urged members to adopt the new standards.
Critics of the theory believe kids should not be taught that the U.S. is centrally racist. Republican leaders across the country have been working overtime to introduce new bills that will limit how teachers can teach their students about race.
Black Lives Matter leaders believe that the critical race theory should be taught to students as they push for transparency regarding race in the classroom.
Both critics and supporters accuse the other of politicizing school studies and infringing on free speech rights.
It is already required by law in Florida to provide a curriculum on the Declaration of Independence, the Holocaust, and African American history. However, current events such as the police killings of unarmed Black people remain a topic of debate.
Florida is just the latest state to remove the critical race theory from school studies, while several others are working on banning it. Back in May, Oklahoma banned the theory. The Cobb County School Board in metro Atlanta also recently banned it from classrooms.
The new set of rules require the classroom curriculum to be “ factual and objective, and may not suppress or distort significant historical events.” Under the guidelines, teachers are also forbidden from using the 1619 Project, a classroom program that educates people about slavery and African American history.