Critics worry Critical Race Theory ban is slippery slope

Politics

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) – After last week’s Board of Education vote, Florida teachers will be prohibited from incorporating Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project in the classroom when they return this fall. 

But some academics worry banning concepts like CRT for K-12 classes is a slippery slope.

Florida Chancellor of K-12 Public Schools Jacob Oliva said the Board of Education decided to ban CRT because it presents ideology as fact.

“It makes judgments or assumptions about people, falling into almost two different categories: that you’re either an oppressor or that you’ve been oppressed based on your ethnicity. And those experiences may not fall true for every single person,” said Oliva.

But critics of the new rule worry the K-12 ban could just be the beginning.

“At what point is that then going to jump to going beyond K-12, because education moves beyond that too,” said Dr. Jonathan Cox, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Central Florida.

Cox argued Florida officials have a distorted understanding of CRT.

“It’s not about things being inherent or people belonging to inherent groups that you are just inherently oppressed or inherently an oppressor. It’s more about socially and historically speaking what groups have held power and how has that power helped kind of shape and mold our social world,” said Cox.

Oliva said the rule change will give teachers more clarity, not only on how to discuss American history, but a myriad of other topics as well.

“Because teachers need to know for their own protection what the standards say and do and what are those expectations that we should be implementing in our classrooms,” said Oliva.

Chancellor Oliva told us he expects the new rule to be enforced at the local level and encouraged parents and students who have concerns with learning materials or instruction in the classroom to contact their principle or local school board.

He also noted topics including slavery, the Civil War, and the civil rights movement will still be taught in Florida schools just as they have for decades.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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