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Florida School Under Fire For Requiring Kids To Have Signed Permission Slip For Black Author's Visit

Coral Way, which is part of a the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, has angered parents after they were required to sign a permission slip to allow their kids to go to a reading for Black History Month by a Black author.

Screenshot of permission slip for Black History month event from Coral Way school

A Florida school has ignited controversy after requiring parents to sign permission slips for their children to participate in a reading from a Black author for Black History Month.

The Coral Way school, part of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, cited compliance with Florida's 2021 Parents' Bill of Rights—otherwise known as the "Don't Say Gay" law—which empowers parents to object to classroom content based on beliefs of morality, sex, religion, or perceived harm.

The move was an extension of a new state board rule under the Parents' Bill of Rights, as outlined by the Miami-Dade School Board.

The school's attempt to adhere to the legislation faced backlash when parent Chuck Walter shared a photo of the permission slip he received for his first-grade child. The slip mentioned that students would "participate & listen to a book written by an African American."

Walter expressed shock at the requirement, highlighting that he had never encountered such permission slips for guest speakers in his children's classes before.

You can see the permission slip below.

Screenshot of permission slip for Black History month event from Coral Way school@ChuckWalterFL/X

Miami-Dade School Board member Steve Gallon explained that the policy stemmed from the state board rule and emphasized parental involvement.

However, the description of the event on the permission slip led to confusion among parents. In response to the controversy, a district spokesperson acknowledged the confusion and pledged to work "with our schools to reemphasize the importance of clarity for parents in describing activities/events that would require parental permission.”

They added:

"However, in compliance with State Law, permission slips were sent home because guest speakers would participate during a school-authorized education-related activity.”

Despite the clarification, Florida's education commissioner, Manny Diaz Jr., asserted that the state does not require a permission slip for teaching African American history or celebrating Black History Month. He characterized any school adopting such measures as "completely in the wrong."

The image of the permission slip went viral and prompted criticisms from social media users who accused the Coral Way school of racism.

This incident follows a similar controversy at iPrep Academy, another Miami-Dade school, which also required parents to sign permission slips for Black History Month events.

While the Florida Department of Education dismissed claims of requiring parental consent to teach Black history as a "media-driven lie," the state's recent legislative moves, such as the Stop WOKE Act and the Don't Say Gay law, reflect a broader push against perceived "woke" education in Florida schools.

The legislation, championed by Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, bans critical race theory—a legal scholarship framework that is not being taught to young children—and restricts discussions on gender and sexual identity in classrooms, impacting teachers' ability to address Black history and LGBTQ+ issues.