Teachers alarmed by state’s infusing religion, downplaying race in civics training.
Included in the training is the statement that it is a “misconception” that “the Founders desired strict separation of church and state.”
Other materials included fragments of statements that were “cherry-picked” to present a more conservative view of American history, some attendees said. In a possible effort to inoculate some Founding Fathers against contemporary political complaints, some slides in a presentation pointed out that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson repudiated slavery; unsaid is that both men held enslaved people and helped worked toward a Constitution that enshrined the practice.
“We’re unabashedly promoting civics and history that is accurate and that is not trying to push an ideological agenda, learning the real history, you’re learning the real facts.” – DeSantis
A review of more than 200 pages of the state’s presentations shows the founding fathers’ intent and the “misconceptions” about their thinking were a main theme of the training. One slide underscored that the “Founders expected religion to be promoted because they believed it to be essential to civic virtue.” Without virtue, another slide noted, citizens become “licentious” and become subject to tyranny.
Another slide highlights three U.S. Supreme Court cases to show when the “Founders’ original intent began to change.” That included the 1962 landmark case that found school-sponsored prayer violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which Judd said trainers viewed as unjust. At one point, the trainers equated it to the 1892 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine.
Ending school prayer was compared to upholding segregation, in other words, trainers called both those rulings unjust