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Teachers say they won’t lie about history as Florida bars certain race lessons

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
The grave of Ocoee Massacre lynching victim July Perry can be found at Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando. Florida law requires the teaching of the Ocoee Massacre in Florida schools, and some educators worry a new state rule might hinder their ability to provide lessons on it and other historical events.
The grave of Ocoee Massacre lynching victim July Perry can be found at Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando. Florida law requires the teaching of the Ocoee Massacre in Florida schools, and some educators worry a new state rule might hinder their ability to provide lessons on it and other historical events.
Published Jun. 14
Updated Jun. 14

The Florida State Board of Education voted Thursday to bar specific race lessons from being taught in the state’s public K-12 schools. The conversation continued through the weekend. Read on for the latest on this story and more Florida education news.

Gov. Ron DeSantis cheered the board’s decision during a visit to Sarasota. He said he wants schools to provide a “solid education” that’s “free of some of this ideology,” Florida Politics reports.

The pushback has been twofold. On one hand, school districts including Marion County stressed they have not taught the approach the governor is railing against, the Ocala Star Banner reports. Alachua County educators said they teach state standards on race history and had no plans to change because of the rule, the Gainesville Sun reports.

Teachers also protested in Florida and across the nation against any attempt to politicize history lessons. Many signed a pledge saying they will not lie to students about history and current events, regardless of laws and rules being adopted, the Washington Post reports.

‘It’s past the time to address the racial inequity.’ Palm Beach County parents want to know how their district will implement its new equity statement, WPTV reports.

Politicians are watching. Noting that school board activities matter, leaders from both parties have begun calling for the nonpartisan board members to support their political allies, WLRN reports.

School news

Strike up the band. Tarpon Springs High School will represent Florida in the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Mission accomplished. After years of lobbying, the Hernando County school district won a $9.5 million state allocation to help it build a stand-alone technical school, Bay News 9 reports.

The exodus continues. Two more top Broward County school district administrators have resigned, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

A Leon County charter school applicant had its project denied by the school district. It’s appealing to the state, Tallahassee Reports reports.

Support your local school. Indian River County schools received more than $500,000 in donations last year. Some schools benefited more than others, TC Palm reports.

Support your local student. A Brevard County school librarian led a fund drive to help graduating seniors pay off their overdue library fees, Florida Today reports.

Coronavirus concerns

Summer school classes have begun to help children overcome any missed lessons from the pandemic. Experts caution against viewing the summer session as a cure-all, the Ledger reports.

More schools are making masks voluntary. The Leon County school district won’t require face coverings starting with summer school, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • The Volusia County School Board will hold a special meeting today to consider ending its requirement, WKMG reports. • The Collier County school district took an added step of letting families know it won’t require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19, WBBH reports.

Legal matters

Cleared. An investigation into the dean of students at an Escambia County private school found no evidence of wrongdoing, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

From the court docket ... The Collier County school district faces a lawsuit over a 2020 school bus crash, WINK reports.

Before you go ... The selection of the Tarpon Springs High School Outdoor Performance Ensemble to march in the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started back in 2019, when the school’s band director first submitted an application. Here’s a video of the group’s show from that year, so you can get a sense of why the Macy’s creative producer thinks so highly of it.