A jaw-dropping mission to a Florida public school district peddles Donald Trump’s lie that the presidential election he lost was rigged.
The mission at R. Dan Nolan Middle School in Bradenton presented a fact to sixth graders: “President Trump claimed the 2020 election was stolen. But calling his claims false — which they are — would be an example of “bias” in the media, according to the lesson.
“The media is often biased and will add words that will persuade you to think one way or another,” the mission warned. The sentence that the former president made the election claims “just gives you information,” he said, but calling the claims false “leads you to believe he is wrong before you have all the facts”.
The startling lesson was shared among parents at the school and ended up in the hands of Ron Filipkowski, a Sarasota attorney who left a commission in the administration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. two years ago in protest about his politics and now follows conservative movements on Twitter and in the media.
The mission is “in fact the most biased example of bias I’ve seen,” the mother of a Manatee County School District student told The Daily Beast on Friday. “It seems quite out of place for a sixth grader,” she added.
The mother said she was one of a number of parents who called the school to complain, with the headmaster promising to look into the matter.
The local school board released a statement saying the district is “committed to following the curriculum and educational standards established by the Florida Department of Education and Florida statutes.”
Although the assignment was based on a state-approved textbook, the handout given to students had examples not included on its pages, district spokesman Michael Barber told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper.
The lesson had been created by an absent teacher, and it was distributed by a substitute, according to the official.
“The assignment does not meet the expectations of the Manatee County School District,” Barber told the newspaper in a statement.
“A thorough review of future homework lessons in this course is underway and the remaining issues with this assignment will be resolved.”
The district said on Twitter that it was “investigating the facts regarding the alleged posting.”
Trump and his allies have presented no evidence that the 2020 election was rigged, and investigations into state legislatures and dozens of court cases have found no justification to overturn his legitimate results.
Massive changes to Florida’s school system have unleashed a storm of controversy. A new state law – called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation by critics – prohibits discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in lower grades, and reviews of racism are severely restricted in reason for prohibitions against critical race theory, a systemic analysis of the object.
DeSantis in July bizarrely complained about supposed “woke math” who doesn’t care about correct calculations.
“I’m just like, like, 2 plus 2 equals 4. It’s not 2 plus 2 equals: Well, how do you feel about that? Is that an injustice?” he asked sarcastically at the time. “No. We must teach children to find the right answer.
DeSantis bragged that Florida sent textbooks containing so-called waking math back to publishers, who “knocked out waking up and sent normal math books back to us.”
Textbook screening is an ongoing project of the DeSantis administration. A new state law requires books to be vetted by state-certified media specialists.
A school district was forced last month to reject hundreds of donated dictionaries because it did not yet have enough trained specialists to review them.