Florida wants to avoid critical race theory and ‘social justice’ in social studies texts


How much can Republicans white wash history to show only what they want it to be?   How much can they change so that the maga parents are not made uncomfortable?   Please note what the state Republicans have labeled social justice.  Why are Republicans against having student learn how to handle their emotions?  is it because they want angry young people who become angry adults?    Hugs

Florida education officials, in guidance, told publishers that all proposed social studies content must abide by the state’s rules outlawing critical race theory and similar teachings.

A student with textbooks. | Getty Images

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s Department of Education is explicitly aiming to keep critical race theory and “social justice” out of social studies textbooks that the state will ultimately adopt for its new teaching standards.

The agency, in recent undated guidance, asked textbook publishers to avoid those topics on top of “culturally responsive teaching, social and emotional learning, and any other unsolicited theories” as the DeSantis administration and Republicans continue to scrutinize what students are learning in public schools, especially on the issues of race and gender identity. Florida already has received national attention after rejecting scores of math books for broaching topics state leaders deemed “impermissible.”

“Instructional materials should not attempt to indoctrinate or persuade students to a viewpoint inconsistent with Florida standards,” FLDOE officials wrote in its undated specifications to publishers. Bids formally opened March 12 and textbook publishers have until June 10 to submit their social studies proposals to the state education department.


Florida education officials, in the guidance, told publishers that all proposed social studies content must abide by the state’s rules outlawing critical race theory, known also as CRT, and similar teachings.

The state, through a rule passed by the Board of Education in 2021, defines critical race theory as an ideology that “racism is not merely the product of prejudice, but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons.” Critical race theory, along with “The 1619 Project” from The New York Times, are theories that “distort historical events,” according to Florida leaders.

Critical race theory, an analytical framework developed by legal scholars, is generally known as a way to examine how race and racism have become ingrained in American law and institutions since slavery and Jim Crow.

Social studies lessons are also required to follow the “Stop WOKE Act” passed by Republican lawmakers in Florida earlier at the request of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who made a major push to prohibit schools and companies from leveling guilt or blame at students and employees based on race or sex, taking aim at lessons over issues like “white privilege.” To that end, the guidance to publishers notes that possible critical race theory components could include making someone “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.”

Additionally, the Florida Department of Education wants to avoid references to “social justice” in its textbooks and gave publishers a few examples to help guide them.

Social justice lessons, according to Florida officials, would be “seeking to eliminate undeserved disadvantages for selected groups; undeserved disadvantages are from mere chance of birth and are factors beyond anyone’s control, thereby landing different groups in different conditions; and equality of treatment under the law is not a sufficient condition to achieve justice.”


The state is also targeting social emotional learning, which has recently emerged as another topic under criticism from DeSantis. Social emotional learning aims to teach students how to manage their emotions and develop strong relationships with their peers. This is counted as an “unsolicited” strategy to FLDOE, which told publishers to refrain from teachings on “identity and identity identification concepts; managing emotion; developing relationships and social awareness.”

Florida’s slate of math textbook rejections, along with recent laws passed in the state like the Parental Rights in Education bill, on Thursday were key topics during a congressional hearing on “curriculum sabotage and classroom censorship” led by the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

One Florida Republican on the subcommittee, Rep. Byron Donalds, asked the panel of witnesses, ranging from parents to school leaders and free speech advocates, if they believed the math lessons flagged by the state education department were appropriate. Donalds, a former member of the Florida House, used examples of questions asking students to measure racial prejudice by age and political affiliation.

A representative from free speech organization PEN America agreed with Donalds, acknowledging that there was a “risk that this was going to stoke division, detract from the lesson.”

“If we’re going to talk about history, let’s talk about history,” Donalds said. “But if we’re going to bring subjective material into the classroom, that is the problem that has some parents upset in the United States.”

Democrats frequently criticized Florida’s policies along with others across the U.S. that they say prohibit discussions of race and LGBTQ issues and violate free speech principles, mirroring authoritarian governments. They used last week’s racist shooting at a Buffalo grocery store as a “horrifying” example of what could happen if “ignorance and hatred spread.”

“Gov. DeSantis is bringing a brand of authoritarianism to Florida that Putin, Maduro or Castro would applaud,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

(((heleninedinburgh))) • 2 days ago

Filing ‘Florida standards’ alongside ‘hot snow,’ ‘dry water,’ and ‘compassionate conservatism.’

Nathaniel McManus (((heleninedinburgh))) • 2 days ago • edited

Next thing you know they will tell the kids who attempt to read and learn the truth for themselves they will be scared into thinking that it will be an assured way to be kidnapped by a homosexual and sold to an adrenochrome extraction laboratory.

Ann Kah (((heleninedinburgh))) • 2 days ago

Goes with the Florida staples of “jumbo shrimp” and “biblical morality”.

Paula Ann Kah • 2 days ago • edited

And who can forget these equally popular and pertinent corollaries.
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength.

Elagabalus • 2 days ago

Florida is becoming like that unruly child in a classroom you can always depend on to disrupt everything by calling undo negative attention to itself. It’s a childish act that’s getting really old really fast.

bearLvrFL • 2 days ago

As someone who works in mental health, the elimination of “emotional learning” content wholesale from grade school curriculums is a big, BIG mistake.

kladinvt • 2 days ago

Kids graduating from FloriDUH high schools will have a hard time being accepted to out-of-state colleges/universities due to the low-standards of education pushed by DeathSantis and the GQP.

What, me worry? • 2 days ago

The publishers of textbooks need to step up and fight back. Stop caving in to these assholes. Kids in Texas and Florida and other confederate states need to learn the truth, not right wing “Lost Cause” propaganda. Can’t handle the truth? Get some mental health care.

Uncle Mark’s ugly face returns • 2 days ago • edited

Continuing this culture war at no further financial expense to the state, and I’m assuming that DeSantis will only approve books by the one publisher that publishes the only approved math books…the same publisher owned by VA Republican Gov Youngkin.

rednekokie • 2 days ago

In other words, Florida has totally removed itself from actual history, and any attempt to reconnect will be met with total contempt.
Perfect place to raise your kids if you want them to be absolute idiots.

J Ascher • 2 days ago

Before you know it, the only grade school textbook allowed to be used in Florida will be the bible.

jk105 • 2 days ago

So teachers in Florida need to instruct students in such a way that it is not clear where they stand on issues like was it right or wrong for Southern states to own humans as property.

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