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Over 13 Million People Are Debating This Florida School's Controversial Permission Slip For Black History Month, And It's Shocking

If we're being honest, the entire education system is a complete mess right now. Books are being banned, students aren't reading at grade level, and many parent/teacher relationships are undeniably tense.

Classroom with desks, textbooks, and a teacher's desk at the front near a TV and whiteboards
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Well, a Miami-Dade County public school is going viral for seemingly requiring a signed permission slip for students to read a book by a Black author DURING Black History Month.

Woman in a blazer standing in front of a classroom chalkboard, looking surprised
NBC / Via youtube.com

Yes, you read that right. The now-viral permission slip, seen by over 13 million people on Twitter, has caused serious outrage. The permission slip describes a school event called a "Read Aloud," where "Students will participate and listen to a book written by an African American."

Summarized text: Miami-Dade County School form for student participation in a school-sponsored event about African American authors from 2/13 to 2/28
@ChuckWalterFL / Via Twitter: @ChuckWalterFL

The user that originally posted the permission slip to Twitter is a Florida parent who tagged the Miami-Dade County's superintendent and wrote: "I had to give permission for this or else my child would not participate???"

@ChuckWalterFL

Sharing a similar experience, another Florida parent commented: "This boiled my blood. My 8th grade son also brought home a permission form for #BlackHistoryMonth where I was sure to write 'Black History is American History.' This is beyond ridiculous."

@jennyleeisme

People online pointed out the permission slip's controversial phrasing: "Also, 'by an African-American' is the strangest choice of phrasing that could possibly be used here. Why not use the author’s/reader’s name or the book’s title or give context on the book’s subject matter? ANYTHING normal. But just 'by an African-American,' Florida are u okay?"

@imagin8ion

"Not children needing permission to read," another user wrote. "No wonder the literacy rates are in the toilet. And it being an issue to have a book by a Black author during Black History Month in 2024."

@ladidaix

The ACLU of Florida also weighed in, calling out Florida's "anti-Black" education policies: "This is what Gov. Ron DeSantis' anti-Black education policies have done to Florida schools. Students needing permission slips to learn Black history, and during Black History Month."

@ChuckWalterFL / ACLUFL

"I need schools to start sending permission slips home to Black parents and ask if it's ok to read books written by white people," @BlackKnight10k suggested, pointing out the double standard.

@BlackKnight10k

"Times like this remind me that we are barely 2 generations removed from the explicit, on the books racism and discrimination our grandparents and great grandparents experienced," another user wrote.

@arakkosuperstar

In response to the backlash, Florida's education commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. seemingly disavowed the permission slip, stating: "Florida does not require a permission slip to teach African American history or to celebrate Black History Month. Any school that does this is completely in the wrong," according to NBC News.

Child presents a book report to adults in a classroom decorated for Black History Month
mediaphotos / Getty Images

BuzzFeed reached out to the Miami-Dade County's Office of Communications for a statement to which they responded, saying: "We realize that the description of the event may have caused confusion, and we are working with our schools to reemphasize the importance of clarity for parents in describing activities/events that would require parental permission."

Woman in a library reading a book with a backpack on

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

Youngoldman / Getty Images

This isn't the first time Florida's education system has been under fire. Last year, Governor DeSantis defended the state's new curriculum that teaches students the idea that "slaves developed skills which, in some instances, can be applied for their personal benefit."

Closeup of Ron DeSantis
Brandon Bell / Getty Images

What are your thoughts on this situation? Let us know in the comments below.