Education Commissioner Calls Out Miami Herald for Not Debunking ‘Misinformation’ in Article

June 29, 2022 Updated 5:37 PM ET

State Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. attends Miami Dade College Medical Campus roundtable (12/13/21)
State Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. attends Miami Dade College Medical Campus roundtable (12/13/21)

June 29, 2022 Updated 5:30 P.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. called out the Miami Herald for an article he said failed to provide “necessary context” that would debunk misinformation. 

The Miami Herald published an article highlighting that teachers are “alarmed” by Florida’s civics course training. Diaz criticized the reporter for publishing statements that suggest Florida history teachers can’t teach history acknowledging evil actions. Diaz said the article did not provide proper context.

“For Stephen Backs, 55, a 27-year history teacher at Hialeah Gardens High School in Miami-Dade County, the question now becomes: How do teachers teach history — particularly as it relates to slavery and events like the Civil Rights movement — without acknowledging that there were some evil actions.”

“Backs said he fears that some teachers will be afraid to discuss certain topics in an effort to keep their jobs.”

Miami Herald

However, Diaz said Florida law requires teaching historical facts about slavery and the Civil Rights movement, which includes acknowledging past injustices. 

“Miami Herald featured selective quotes and failed in the journalistic duty to provide necessary context to debunk misinformation,” Diaz said. 

Diaz said the Miami Herald article published several of the slides from the civics training without rebutting a “single fact” listed on them.

“The Herald is attacking Florida civics education because they would prefer it to be a vehicle to push their partisan ideology on students,” the commissioner said on Twitter. 

The DeSantis Administration has cracked down on “woke” materials in Florida classrooms. The Governor signed the “Stop WOKE Act” that bans educators and workplace employers from teaching Floridians that their “moral character” is determined by race, sex, or national origin.

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