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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/HB 1213 — Educational Instruction of Historical Events

by Education Committee; PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee; and Reps. Fine, Caruso, and others

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Education Committee (ED)

History of the Holocaust

The bill adds the policy, definition, examples, and prevention of anti-Semitism to the required public school instruction regarding the history of the Holocaust. Each school district must annually certify and provide evidence to the Department of Education (department) that instructional requirements concerning the history of the Holocaust are met. The bill requires the department to prepare and offer standards and curriculum for the required instruction, and authorizes the department to seek input from the Commissioner of Education’s Task Force on Holocaust Education or from recognized Holocaust educational organizations. The department may contract with recognized Holocaust educational organizations to develop training for instructional personnel and grade-appropriate classroom resources to support the developed curriculum.

The bill designates the second week in November as “Holocaust Education Week” in recognition of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a precipitating event that led to the Holocaust.

1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots

The bill directs the Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force to examine ways in which the history of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots (riots) will be included in required instruction on African-American history and submit its recommendations to the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education by March 1, 2021.

The bill directs the Secretary of State to determine ways in which the Museum of Florida History and other state museums will promote the history of the riots through exhibits and educational programs, and collaborate with the National Museum of African American History and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution to seek inclusion of the history of the riots in the museum’s exhibits.

The bill directs the Secretary of Environmental Protection to assess if any state park or facility will be named in recognition of any victim of the riots. Additionally, the bill encourages district school boards to assess opportunities for naming school facilities in recognition of victims of the riots.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 116-0