A Florida textbook publisher removed all references of race from a lesson about civil rights icon Rosa Parks in order to get a Florida committee’s approval, according to The New York Times.
Parks helped spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott after she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Ala., bus in 1955.
In the current lesson by Studies Weekly, which is used in 45,000 elementary schools, the event is described: “The law said African Americans had to give up their seats on the bus if a white person wanted to sit down.”
But in an early version created for Florida’s review by Studies Weekly, the lesson changed to: “She was told to move to a different seat because of the color of her skin.”
In the group’s second updated version, race is removed completely from the lesson: “She was told to move to a different seat.”
Studies Weekly also made changes to their fourth-grade lesson about segregation laws.
In the initial version, the text explained how Black Americans were affected by Jim Crow laws that arose after the Civil War, but like its updates to the Parks lesson, the second version eliminated almost every direct mention of race. Instead, the lessons were changed to say it was illegal for “men of certain groups” to be unemployed and that “certain groups of people” were not allowed to serve on a jury.