JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — Vice President Kamala Harris made a last-minute trip to Florida Friday to denounce the state’s new standards for teaching Black history in public schools, saying she is “deeply concerned” that the state is “replacing history with lies.”
The visit comes as a result of a fiery board meeting in Orlando on Wednesday. Florida’s Board of Education approved new standards for how African American history will be taught in Florida’s public schools.
The standards were approved to the sound of booing from a crowd that formed at the meeting. State officials say the lesson plans lay out “the good, the bad and the ugly” of African American history.
Critics continue to highlight part of the standards that include instruction on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” Ed board officials said lessons would not include the benefits of slavery, despite the language in the standards.
“I was just appalled that anybody in 2023 would say things like, we learned something from slavery. Of course we did. We learned that we never ever want to be in bondage and we don’t want to be told what to do,” State Rep. Dianne Hart said.
Hart applauded the VP’s efforts saying, “It shows you that Florida is important and that this subject matter is critically important, not just to Florida, but to this entire nation.”
Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted about the visit on Wednesday. The 2024-hopeful saying the VP is “lying” about Florida’s new standards to cover up an “indoctrination agenda.”
Democrats, meanwhile, say the governor is trying to flip the script.
“This idea that this is a part of their agenda to move away from some type of indoctrination, but yet and still what they are pushing is epitome of indoctrination,” State Sen. Shevrin Jones said.
There was more than one reason for the visit and that was to show state democrats that the White House is behind them ahead of the 2024 elections.