Donalds argues he's only against 'one line' in new Florida curriculum despite DeSantis hit

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said he largely supports Florida’s new education guidelines about Black history as a whole, but disagrees with “one line,” despite Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s recent hits.

The state has been heavily criticized for a line in the new curriculum about slavery, which requires teachers to instruct on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

Donalds, like many others, criticized the new guidelines for the suggestion — but said overall the curriculum was “not controversial.”

“if I disagree with one line, that doesn’t mean I disagree with the curriculum set,” Donalds said in an interview with The Hill on NewsNation, later adding that the guidelines were good, accurate and reasonable.

“Children in Florida will learn black history and they will do a good job with it,” he said.

His comments come after DeSantis slammed his Republican “colleagues” who represent Florida for knocking the new guidelines and instead siding with Democratic leaders, such as Vice President Harris.

“At the end of the day, Floridians should stand up for Florida,” DeSantis said in an interview with CBS News Thursday. “Don’t side with Kamala Harris and liberals who are demagoguing this.

“You had nobody raising a ruckus about this until it become convenient to do it,” he added. “I’d ask all my colleagues in Florida, stand up for your state.”

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On Wednesday, Donalds had criticized the Florida Department of Education’s (FLDOE) guidance on slavery, calling it “wrong.”

“The attempt to feature the personal benefits of slavery is wrong & needs to be adjusted,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “That obviously wasn’t the goal & I have faith that FLDOE will correct this.”

The new guidelines, which passed last week, also require lessons on race to be taught in an “objective” manner that does not seek to “indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.”

Harris, in a speech last Friday, aruged that the state was “pushing propaganda” on children with the new guidelines.

“It involved some of the worst examples of depriving people of humanity in our world,” Harris said, referring to slavery. “So in the context of that, how is it that anyone could suggest that in the midst of these atrocities, that there was any benefit to being subjected to this level of dehumanization?”

But, despite DeSantis’s critique, Donalds made it clear that he disagrees with Harris.

“She’s tried to play politics with this and that is what she wanted to do,” the Florida lawmaker said. “Let’s move her to the side, cause she really is not the issue at this point.”

Donalds also criticized DeSantis for “making an issue out of this” and further escalating media reports.

“If they decide this is the cause celeb for their campaign, I think it’s a dumb move, I don’t think it works and I don’t think it helps anybody,” Donalds said. “All it really does is divide Republicans and give the left something to talk about.”

When asked if DeSantis is trying to divide Republicans for his own political gain as he runs for President, Donalds took issue with the question, saying the “media is going to take it any way they want to, to make it more of a story.”

“Is it dividing Republicans? No I don’t think so, but they’re the ones that created this story,” he added.

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