Florida schools will continue to teach about subjects like slavery, the post-Reconstruction era, segregation and civil rights – but, they’ll teach facts, not rewrite history to advance an ideological agenda, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) promised Tuesday.
At a press event touting his tax relief plan, Gov. DeSantis took a moment to address accusations that Florida schools won’t teach some subjects, because they won’t teach them in a way that distorts facts to conform to liberal ideologies, such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the 1619 Project.
In particular, DeSantis refuted leftists’ false claims that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery, noting that historical documents prove it wasn't:
“Read Florida statutes. We are required to teach slavery, the post-Reconstruction and segregation, civil rights. Those are core parts of American history that should be taught.
“But, it should also be taught accurately.
“For example, the 1619 Project is a CRT version of history. It’s supported by The New York Times. They want to teach our kids that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery. And, that’s false.
“We know why the American Revolution was fought. They wrote pamphlets. We saw them dump tea into the Boston Harbor. We saw them meet in Philadelphia and we have the records of why they revolted against King George III.”
“So, you can’t teach history that’s being used to pursue an ideological agenda. You can’t teach that the foundations of our country were, somehow, evil. Our Founders pledged their lives, fortunes, sacred honor and they put a marker in the sand,” DeSantis said. “Not everything lived up to it right away, of course not. But, every major movement in our country’s history has gone right back to those core principles.”
And, while proponents of CRT want to change history in order to justify the removal of tributes to the nation’s Founding Fathers, Florida won’t be doing that, Gov. DeSantis promised:
“So, we want to teach history, all history – its’ got to be accurate, though. And we are not going to be in a situation where we’re taking George Washington’s name off schools, taking down statues of Thomas Jefferson – and that’s what those people who want CRT want to do.
“They want to change history. They want to delegitimize these folks – and that’s not what we’re doing.”
“But, don’t let anyone tell you we don’t want those subjects taught, because not only do we want it, we have it in statute that they must be taught,” the governor reiterated.