A school in Florida is demanding that parents give consent for their children to learn about Black history, during Black History Month.
Parents of students at IPrep Academy in Miami were given permission slips to sign in order for their children to participate in “class and school wide presentations showcasing the achievements and recognizing the rich and diverse traditions, histories, and innumerable contributions of the Black communities,” according to local ABC affiliate WPLG.
Miami-Dade School Board Member Steve Gallon said the forms are for getting parental consent when outside presenters come on campus.
The new policy was enacted last November and is an extension of the Parental Rights in Education law, aka ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, that bans “instruction” about sexual orientation or gender identity “in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
If parents do not sign the consent form, their children cannot take part in Black History Month educational events.
“I was shocked,” parent Jill Peeling told WPLG, explaining that she thought she may have misunderstood the purpose of the form. “I am concerned. I am concerned as a citizen. It’s a step too far. This is Black History Month. This is supposed to be a celebration.”
Gallon shares her concerns and admitted that he is worried about the effect it might have on students whose parents won’t allow them to attend. But he says officials “have to follow the law.”
“We have to implement the rules that are adopted by the state board of education,” he said.
Gallon says he will bring up the issue about permission slips at Wednesday’s committee hearing, according to WPLG.