Scott rebuked the new curriculum guidelines, including language that Florida students be taught enslaved people “developed skills” that benefited them under the system of American slavery, during a campaign stop in Iowa on Thursday.
When asked by a reporter, the South Carolina senator said there was no upside to the system whatsoever.
“There is no silver lining in slavery,” Scott said. “Slavery was really about separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was just devastating.”
DeSantis has also faced criticism about the curriculum from Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), the only Black Republican in Florida’s congressional delegation, and Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris called the teachings “propaganda” last week.
“They dare to push propaganda to our children,” Harris said at the time. “Adults know what slavery really involved. It involved rape. It involved torture. It involved taking a baby from their mother.”
In response to Harris’ comments, DeSantis claimed she lied and that those who read the curriculum would agree with him.
“Anyone that actually read that and listens to Kamala [Harris] would know that she’s lying,” DeSantis said. “That particular provision about the skills, that was in spite of slavery not because of it.”
It’s not just Florida, however. Republican-led states around the country have cracked down on how race is taught in schools.
States like Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio — along with Florida — have pushed bills that would stop or change how teachers instruct on race. This has included curriculum updates, book bans and providing parents with more say in what their children are taught.