Ribault social studies teacher resigns over new African American history standards

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A local Pastor, community activist and educator has announced he’ll be resigning from his teaching job at Ribault Middle School.

His reason: Outrage over the state’s new African American history standards.


Pastor Reginald Gundy told Action News Jax his decision to resign wasn’t an easy one.

“I really love teaching kids. I really love kids. This last piece, it’s not worth it. I’d rather be out here to stand up and fight back against it,” Gundy said.

Gundy told Action News Jax he began his teaching career decades ago after retiring from the military.

He decided to return to the profession last year -- a year Florida’s education system was marred by controversies due to new laws restricting how race and other social issues could be discussed in the classroom.

Gundy said the state’s new African American History standards, which have faced criticism for the incorporation of instruction on, “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” sealed his decision to leave.

In his resignation letter, Gundy argued, “The Black History of slavery in America is no less than a Holocaust.”

“How do you benefit from being whipped, harmed, cut, killed, burned?” Gundy said.

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Dr. William Allen, one of the crafters of the state’s new standards, has pushed back on criticisms and argued any suggestion Florida plans to teach students slavery benefited African Americans is a lie.

“It is an absolute falsehood. If anybody is presenting the positive good school of slavery, it’s the heirs of people like Calhoun and Taney and Woodrow Wilson who continue to propagate the false picture that the birth of the nation was nothing but slavery,” said Allen, appearing on Jesse Watters Primetime this week.

But Gundy argued the mounting pressure on teachers to stay in line with the state’s preferred narrative has reached a boiling point.

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“You really don’t know what you should be properly teaching that’s safe to keep you from losing your job, losing your home, losing your car, unable to feed yourself. That doesn’t make any sense. That’s just too much pressure on a teacher of any subject,” Gundy said.

Just last week Vice President Kamala Harris visited Jacksonville to denounce the state’s new standards, calling them ‘propaganda’.

Governor Ron DeSantis responded by accusing Harris of lying to cover for her ‘agenda of indoctrinating students.’

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