Books

Miami-Dade School Asks Parents for Consent for Black History Month Activities

Some parents have expressed concern about the new practice of asking for parental consent for Black History Month activities at South Florida school IPrep Academy.

The permission form being sent out to parents ahead of Black History Month events asks them to sign off on their child participating in “…class and school wide presentations showcasing the achievements and recognizing the rich and diverse traditions, histories, and innumerable contributions of the Black communities.”

Jill Peeling, a parent whose child attends IPrep Academy, expressed concern over this new policy, saying “I was shocked. I’m concerned. I’m concerned as a citizen.”

Steve Gallon, a Miami-Dade School Board member, said this new practice is an extension of a new state board rule that was just enacted last November that requires parental consent when people come onto campus who aren’t affiliated with the school.

Even so, Gallon also expressed his concern regarding the consequences this new policy would bring on the children whose parents don’t sign the permission forms.

Dr. Marvin Dunn, a professor at Florida International University and an expert of Black American history, shared Gallon’s sentiments, stating “When parents become involved in making that decision, keeping some kids out, some kids in, you have unequal learning.”

Dunn continued, “The intent of the DeSantis attack on education is to make schools more cautious, to make teachers more cautious about what they teach, and it’s working. It’s not about banning books necessarily, it’s about banning ideas.”

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.

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