Florida education official booed over Black history standards

A Florida Department of Education official faced backlash from teachers during a presentation at Miami-Dade College about the state’s new Black history public education standards.

John Duebel, Director of Social Studies and the Arts Bureau of Standards and Instructional Support for the Florida Department of Education was booed by teachers at an event when he highlighted the new controversial standards.

The new standards, passed by the Florida Board of Education, include teaching middle school students about how slaves developed skills that could be applied for their personal benefit. Duebel clarified that the intention was not to suggest that slaves benefited from slavery, but rather to highlight their resilience in the face of oppression.

“This has been interpreted to mean slaves benefited from slavery and that is not the standard at all,” Duebel, said. “What this is saying is, this is not the story simply of victims who withered in the face of repression, but rather the story of a resilient people who responded to their oppressors.”

Florida has faced criticism for its approach to Black history standards. Gov. Ron Desantis has engaged in a public feud with the College Board over their Advanced Placement African American studies course.

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