Patricia Billie Miller


Patricia Billie Miller



July 26, 2023

The CT Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Releases Statement Following Florida State Board of Education Decision to Require Educators to Teach that Slavery Benefited Black People

HARTFORD – Today, the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus (BPRC) released the following statement condemning the Florida State Board of Education decision to require educators to teach children that Black people benefited from slavery. The newly approved standards also include language stating Black slaves participated in violent acts during race massacres.

“The decision by the Florida State Board of Education is not shocking, this is par for the course for that state’s ‘leaders’ and conservatives as well,” said state Senator and BPRC Chair Pat Billie Miller. “Their unusual obsession with restricting the accurate teachings of Race, racism and our country’s real history are not only cheap political attempts to bolster favor with their constituents, but also exposes their own ignorance and hate. This decision is racist and I applaud Florida’s teachers’ union for pushing back. In Connecticut, this serves as another reason why we must remain steadfast in our commitment to teach our country’s true history, not shy away from difficult discussions and topics, and never allow racism to penetrate anywhere, but especially not in our classrooms. Young people have the potential to set right what has been wrong for so many years. No adult has the right to take that power from them by altering history so it suits their ignorance.”

“The most disheartening part of all this is that it fits a trend for many of our conservative states and pushes it a step further,” said State Representative and BPRC Vice Chair Antonio Felipe. “In classrooms, in medical facilities and even in State Legislatures the voices of disenfranchised people have been silenced. Now the attempt is being made to fill that silence by mandating a revisionist history that stifles progress towards equity for Black Americans. This country has some dark times in it’s history, attempts to ignore or put a positive spin on those times devalues the fight and the struggle they created for so many.”

According to multiple reports, Florida’s public schools will now be required to teach students that some Black people benefited from slavery because it taught them useful skills. Included in Florida’s new racist education standards is language that states, “instruction includes acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans but is not limited to 1906 Atlanta Race Riot, 1919 Washington, D.C. Race Riot, 1920 Ocoee Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Massacre and the 1923 Rosewood Massacre.” Florida’s teachers’ union has since condemned these standards.