Publisher Deletes Race From Rosa Parks Story for Florida
Studies Weekly, whose curriculum reaches 45,000 schools across the country, went to extreme lengths to cater to Ron DeSantis’ hellish vision of Florida. In an effort to protect its sales, the publisher removed references to race, including the history of Rosa Parks, from its social studies material, the New York Times reports.
The crude update follows a push by the Florida governor to place a widespread ban on the teaching of topics deemed related to Critical Race Theory (CRT), and the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Although a judge recently denied a request from Florida’s government to block an injunction against DeSantis’ “Stop-Woke” act in the state’s public colleges, DeSantis’ administration rejected dozens of math books—claiming some contained CRT. In January, Florida blocked the College Board from testing a pilot Advanced Placement African American Studies (APAAS).
In the lesson by Studies Weekly used in elementary schools today, segregation is clearly defined: “The law said African Americans had to give up their seats on the bus if a white person wanted to sit down.” But in the initial version created for Florida’s review, the lesson reads: “She was told to move to a different seat because of the color of her skin.” And in the second updated version, race is removed completely: “She was told to move to a different seat.”
While NYT reports that it’s unclear which of the alternate versions were submitted for state review, the second update—which includes no mention of race—was posted on the publisher’s website until last week.
The company also made “similar changes to a fourth-grade lesson about segregation laws that arose after the Civil War,” according to the report. While the initial version for the textbook review refers to African Americans and explains how they were impacted by Jim Crow, the second version deletes mentions of race. In the second update, it simply states that it was illegal for “men of certain groups” to be unemployed and that “certain groups of people” were not allowed to serve on a jury.
While the publisher has since taken down its fact-less version of history and withdrawn from the state’s review following inquires from NYT, potential profit losses may coax them to offer another revision to DeSantis’ chopping block.
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