Public, NAACP urge Volusia schools to continue Black history education amid critical race theory ban

February marks Black History Month – the first since Florida banned critical race theory in classrooms.  Now some fear Black History Month will also be erased. 

The issue came up at Tuesday night’s Volusia County School Board meeting.  Dozens showed up to the meeting, including members of the local NAACP, all pushing for Black history education to continue despite recent critical race theory legislation. 

"My continued plea to you is that you not get it twisted. Critical race theory, which is barred by political leaders in Tallahassee, is not and should never be a leapfrog to not teach black history moments in our schools."

Folks were fired up at the Volusia County school board meeting as members of the public and local NAACP urged the board not to confuse Black history education with critical race theory. They want the district to continue teaching Black history and not push it aside in response to the state Board of Education’s ban on teaching critical race theory. They say factual Black history and critical race theory are two different things.

The state Board of Education has banned teaching critical race theory, and under the recently proposed state Senate Bill 148, Black history must still be taught, but teaching critical race theory would be illegal. It would also be illegal to teach anything at school or in the workplace that would make someone feel guilty or uncomfortable because of their race. 

One school board member told FOX 35 Black history education in Volusia County Schools isn’t going anywhere. 

"We need to just include the contributions of Black Americans in the year that they occurred as we teach chronological history. Black history is American history," said school board member Carl Persis. 

Those who spoke up at the meeting say they don’t want Black history education to be confused with critical race theory and be pushed to the side. 

"We’re looking for more than just a celebration. Celebrations come and go. It needs to be a part of the Volusia County curriculum for our students." 

The Volusia County School Board formally acknowledged Black History Month coming up in February and all their events planned.

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