Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., announced Tuesday the state requires “the truth about American history” to be taught in Florida’s schools, pushing back against Critical Race Theory.
In a tweet sharing part of his policy speech Tuesday, DeSantis stated, “In Florida, we require the truth about American history to be taught in our classrooms. We will not allow schools to twist history to align with an ideological agenda.”
Florida was recently ranked the No. 1 state for freedom in education, partly due to its rejection of CRT. Instead of pushing an overtly progressive agenda in the classroom, Florida has chosen to teach traditional American history.
Despite the media’s claims that Florida schools limit the teaching of American history, DeSantis explained the state requires schools to teach students about slavery, the post-reconstruction period, segregation, and civil rights. “Those are core parts of American history that should be taught,” he said.
However, DeSantis also stressed the importance of teaching history “accurately.” He warned that the 1619 project teaches students that “the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery.”
“That’s false,” DeSantis said. “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.”
Contrary to what CRT teaches, DeSantis said the American Revolution was one of the first events to cause people to question slavery. “No one had questioned it before we decided as Americans that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights and that we are all created equal,” he said. DeSantis explained the abolition movement actually resulted from the American Revolution.
“You can’t teach history that’s being used to pursue an ideological agenda,” the governor added. “You can’t teach that the foundations of our country were somehow evil.”
Pushing back against proponents of Critical Race Theory, DeSantis said, “We want to teach all history. It’s gotta be accurate though. 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. That’s not what we’re doing.”
DeSantis concluded his remarks by emphasizing that critics of Florida’s school policies are promoting false information when they claim Florida does not want to teach about slavery. He explained, “Not only do we want it, but we have it in statute that they must be taught.”