DORAL, FL – Miami-Dade School Board approved anti-racism instruction as part of the curriculum in order to firmly combat racism amid weeks of protests nationwide over the policing of black people.
The decision came after board members voted 8-1 late Wednesday with Marta Perez being the only member of the board who voted against it, arguing the school district should focus solely on academics and that there were already initiatives that emphasized inclusion.
The item was discussed in the middle of a social media campaign filled with false accusations and comments alongside hundreds of calls and emails from people who were against and also in favor of including the anti-racism instruction in the curriculum.
Massive posts on Facebook and WhatsApp in the days prior to the voting were spreading lies and misinformation about the anti-racism instruction. Some of them accused members of “trying to indoctrinate children”.
The posts also preyed on homophobic fears, saying the new courses would focus on homosexuality, transgender people and that “children should have the right to choose how and with whom to live”, as reported by the Miami Herald.
“Hundreds of calls have been fielded up here in this office yesterday and today as well, frankly with the characterization of many of us, including me, that was less than tasteful, very often insulting and breaching some of the values that we profess,” said about this Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
But despite all the confusion, the only truth is that board member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall’s proposal, that later became an item to be voted, had the purpose of requesting the school district to review curriculum-based options that address racism and cultural understanding.
The proposal also included to establish a student-led task force that reported to the board and to develop or enhance anti-racism curriculum.
“It is hard to take a stance that talks about the wrongs of 400-plus years, and I know what people are going to say ‘Well, I didn’t do it. It wasn’t my fault.’ But what is it that we do? What do we tell our children?” said Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, one of two black board members.