Florida playbook removed Rosa Parks race to comply with state rules: NYT
Bettmann/Getty Images An editor has removed references to Rosa Parks’ race in a draft of a Florida textbook. Studies Weekly changed the language to comply with the Stop Woke Act, The New York Times reported. The editor also removed references to race in a Civil War lesson.
A publisher of science and social studies-focused textbooks used in 45,000 Florida schools initially removed all references in a draft Rosa Parks running lesson to comply with Florida’s Stop WOKE law, reported the New York Times.
Studies Weekly created a version of its parks lesson for first graders for the state’s review of the social studies curriculum. This version about Parks – the black woman who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man – does not explicitly mention that she was black, according to the Times. Instead, the editor writes that she was told to move “because of the color of her skin.”
A second version goes even further, not mentioning race at all.
“She was told to change seats. She didn’t. She did what she believed was right,” reads the textbook passage, according to the Times.
Another example from the same editor, provided by The Times, shows a fourth-grade Civil War lesson, which removed language that said black people were discriminated against under “black codes,” a series of laws created after the Civil War to restrict black freedoms, opting instead for language like “certain groups”.
According to the Times, current courses used in Florida classrooms mention segregation and references to race. The Times reported that it was unclear whether these versions without mention of race had been submitted for review. The publisher told The Times that it had withdrawn from state review.
John McCurdy, managing director of Studies Weekly, told The Times the changes were made to comply with the Stop WOKE Act, a law signed and approved by Governor Ron DeSantis that limits how schools and workplaces discuss race and gender issues. The Florida Department of Education told The Times that the publisher had gone too far, saying that publishers who avoid “the subject of race when teaching about the civil rights movement, slavery, segregation, etc. would not comply with Florida law”.
DeSantis signed into law the Stop Woke Law and the Don’t Say Gay Law in 2022. These laws resulted in the removal of thousands of non-state-approved books from classrooms and the blocking of high schools from teaching Afro AP studies -American. . The FDOE also amended the Stop Woke Act to ban the teaching of critical race theory in schools.
The FDOE and Studies Weekly did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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