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Florida Senator Wants To Enhance African American Studies In Public Schools

11 different women participating in a Zoom meeting.
Lori Berman
/
Facebook Live
Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach) led a Facebook Live panel Friday on racial injustice. Panelists voiced their different concerns, including how a teacher's personal bias can impact their history lessons.

A South Florida legislator wants to improve the way public schools in the state teach African American history. Florida law requires that students learn about African American History, but Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach) doesn't think the lessons are the best they could be.

"I think next year we need to take a look at how we are teaching African American studies and from a much more holistic viewpoint in our classrooms, and that's something that I will promise all of you I will take the lead on in looking into that issue," Berman says.

Berman led a Facebook Live panel Friday on racial injustice. Panelists voiced their different concerns, including how a teacher's personal bias can impact their history lessons. Members also called for training on how to teach the required subjects. Florida passed a bill this year to better implement holocaust studies in public schools.

Veering away from a conversation on education, panelist Shirley Johnson addressed a Facebook Live question regarding George Floyd protests turning violent.

She's a long-time civil rights activist and says the rioting and looting accompanying recent protests is nothing new. Johnson says there will always be what she calls, 'opportunists.'

"We have cell phones. We have cameras everywhere. Everyone who has a cellphone has a camera. That's new. There [are] videos of everybody and everything, so when you're out in the public, just know that you're being filmed. So dress your best. Be prepared. You're going to be on Facebook whether you like it or not," Johnson says.

Florida Democrats sponsored the panel to get more viewpoints on racial injustice.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.
Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.