Miami-Dade school board members and parents shared concerns about a permission slip asking for parental consent for students to attend Black History Month events.

Miami-Dade School Board members on Wednesday discussed at a school board meeting the new rule requiring parental permission for extracurricular activities, including Black History Month events.

Dr. Steve Gallon of District 1 said at the school board meeting that Black History Month events are not something that he "would easily define as an activity or supplemental"– but rather something that should be "inextricably linked to instruction."

"Can someone walk us through that particular process because obviously, this has caused some discourse from parents who are asking the question… which parents on either side… Black history is important to all Americans because it's American history," Gallon said.

Dr. Steve Gallon of District 1

Dr. Steve Gallon of District 1 said that Black History Month events are not something that he would easily define as an activity or supplemental – but rather something should be "inextricably linked to instruction." (Miami-Dade County Public Schools)


He added, "To the extent that the parents' failure to sign a form for something that may be restricted to instruction in the classroom, I think we need to clarify that, and I want to have a conversation."

The permission slip stems from a new state board rule. Florida’s Parental Bill of Rights in Education law required school districts to get parental consent for activities such as clubs, speaking engagements, school dances, and events.

After Gallon’s remarks, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. John Pace said that the permission slips were enacted "in late November."

Pace added that he wanted to make clear that permission slips are not required for African-American history courses or instruction.

"Whenever there is an event or activity outside of the curriculum, parent permission form will be used," Pace said.

Pace added that a Holocaust survivor or any guest speaker, and military and college recruiters would require parental consent as well.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Miami-Dade School Board members on Wednesday discussed the new rule requiring parental permission for any extracurricular activities, including Black History Month events. (Miami-Dade County Public Schools)

Another school board member, Luisa Santos, challenged the policy, saying that a Holocaust survivor speaking to students enriches their educational experience.

"Are we going to then limit the experience that our students can have in our schools because, things that I remember doing plenty of in one week in school, from college visits to guest speakers to the DARE program, for example, will now require a permission slip?" Santos said. 


"Those experiences, whether it’s the arts or a guest speaker, a Holocaust survivor, they are the things that make our educational experience relevant to our students."

Parents have complained about having to fill out a permission slip for their child to attend Black History Month events.

"I was shocked," Jill Peeling told Local 10 news.

She added that she "thought she may have misunderstood the document," the news outlet reported. "I’m concerned. I’m concerned as a citizen," Peeling said.

According to Local 10 News, the permission form reads that students would participate in "…class and school wide presentations showcasing the achievements and recognizing the rich and diverse traditions, histories, and innumerable contributions of the Black communities."

"Something feels very off here, and the fact that the school needs to cover themselves against the state feels even worse," Peeling said.

"It’s unfortunate that school districts have to go through this with the new laws because they’re fearful that somebody like a politician or a parent will come after them for hosting what they deem to be a controversial speaker or topic or event," a ninth-grade social studies and world history teacher told the Miami Herald.

Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a parental rights bill that bans teachers from giving classroom instruction on "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" in kindergarten through third grade. ((Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images))


The DeSantis administration has prioritized cutting "wokeness" out of state schools since it has been in power and, with the Republican legislature, enacted a Parents Bill of Rights to prohibit instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation and moved to enforce laws banning pornographic material from school children, such as LGBTQ books featuring graphic sexual content.

The DeSantis administration has also battled critical race theory in the classroom and recently got The College Board to modify its AP African American History course to comply with Florida's educational standards by removing proposed content about queer theory and Black Lives Matter.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools officials did not respond to a request for comment.