Florida Teacher Union responds to ban of Critical Race Theory teachings in classrooms

Northwest Florida

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Critical race theory is a learning approach to explain how racism has functioned throughout America’s history.  

A controversial concept which is now banned from Florida schools. 

Some Florida educators argue it’s never been a problem or mandatory for their curriculum and should not be the state’s focus right now. 

Florida is the latest state to approve banning critical race theory in classrooms.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has been outspoken about his opposition to the teachings and stated, “It’s really important when we are doing history and doing things like civics that it is grown in actual fact. I think we need an education system that is preferring fact over narratives.”

The Florida School Board says the rule will help teachers serve as facilitators to discuss historical events in an objective way. Members add it will ensure that students are not pressured into thinking a certain way. 

The governor tweeted that critical race theory teaches kids to hate our country and to hate each other and people that are against the critical race theory say students should not be taught that America is fundamentally racist.  

However, some believe this is an issue that has never been a problem. 

Escambia County Teachers Union President Darzell Warren says, “Having a ban on something that is not even talked about in our public schools… It was not needed.” 

Warren adding let teachers just teach after going through so many obstacles since the pandemic hit.

“There will be a fear there will be a discussion in the classroom which could lead to a teacher possibly being disciplined for just having their students have those open honest discussions,” Warren states.

We reached out to Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa County school districts.

Okaloosa County School District Assistant Superintendent Mr. Steve Horton stated: 

“Okaloosa County schools will continue to adhere to state statute and state board of education rule with respect to the teaching of educational standards in our classrooms. As sworn, elected officials, our superintendent, and school board are bound to uphold that standard.”

WKRG also spoke with Santa Rosa County Superintendent Dr. Karen Barber who says she supports the state’s decision and parents and students should not worry. 

They will still be teaching the same standards but just with more clarification and providing new training and provisional expectations for teachers this upcoming year. 

Warren however says the focus shouldn’t be on this topic but on the real issues the Florida education system has. 

Warren says, “It’s not a matter of us putting our personal opinion in the narrative. It’s about us allowing our children to create their own narrative about what our history was and what our history is.”

At least 16 other states are considering or have enacted bills that would limit how schools frame on American History.

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