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Florida Schools Now Asking Consent to Hear Black People Talk

Florida Schools Now Asking Consent to Hear Black People Talk
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In what seems like yet another brick in the wall of racism that Gov. Ron DeSantis is building around Florida, a Miami-Dade County parent is outraged after he allegedly had to sign permission slip for his daughter to hear an “African-American” speaker.

Chuck Walter, a parent of two daughters at Coral Way K-8 Bilingual Center in Miami, posted a copy of a permission slip for a “read aloud” that his daughter would attend and participate in. The slip included the quiet part out loud: “Students will participate and listen to a book written by an African American.”

Walter told NBC News that he gave consent but insisted that he’s never had to sign a permission slip for either child to participate in similar events in the past.

“This is an unneeded process for our overworked teachers, and can create more division among parents,” Walter told NBC .

The book, which was not shared with the parents on the slip, was allegedly chosen to align with Black History Month, which Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent Jose L. Dotres said he supports, in a tweet earlier this month. However, there was no mention of what topics under Black History would be covered, (there are so many). The main point of consent seemed to be allowing children to hear from an “African-American.”

The permission slip process seemed to be a product of DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education law, which he signed in 2022 ostensibly to allow parents to have more control over their children’s education.

However, it’s been criticized as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which places an educator’s job at risk for breaching topics including LGBTQ and race-based curricula—e.g., Black History. The bill is closely related to his Individual Freedom Act, otherwise known as the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which DeSantis signed to prohibit Florida employers from speaking on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) topics during workplace trainings.

Similar permission slips would, in theory, apply to a Holocaust survivor speaking to students or pretty much any “controversial” human atrocity that the world needs to answer for, or at the very least, young people need to be educated on.

Miami-Dade Public Schools responded to the controversy, telling TMZ:

“We realize that the description of the event may have caused confusion, and we are working with our schools to reemphasize the importance of clarity for parents in describing activities/events that would require parental permission. However, in compliance with State Law, permission slips were sent home because guest speakers would participate during a school-authorized education-related activity.”

Dr. Steve Gallon, a school board member and Black man, has spoken out against what he perceives is a draconian attempt to keep important topics from students and could result in an unequal education for students whose parents overlook or don’t have time to sign permission slips.

“This is more than just Black History, this is about equal access to the fullness of what education represents,” Gallon told the Miami Herald.

 





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