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Florida Will Allow Far Right PragerU Materials in Public Schools, Company Says

"This is Christian nationalist indoctrination," one critic of the move said.

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager is pictured with characters from PragerU Kids content.

PragerU, a far right organization that purports to create educational content, has been approved to provide Florida classrooms with “learning materials” next year, despite not being accredited.

The company, which was founded in 2009 by right-wing radio host Dennis Prager, has pushed anti-immigrant theories, downplayed the role of racism in U.S. history and modern society, embraced Christian nationalism, disputed climate change, and expressed doubts about inequalities based on gender, race and sexuality. The company’s content frequently promotes capitalist and imperialist ideology.

On Monday, PragerU announced that Florida approved the organization’s children-based brand, “PragerU Kids,” to be an “educational vender” in the state, allowing teachers and school districts to use materials geared toward children in their lesson plans. Florida is the first state in the country to approve “PragerU Kids” materials for educational use, the company said.

According to an email the organization sent to The Daily Beast, PragerU Kids lessons were found to be in compliance with “Florida’s revised civics and government standards.” Those standards have faced widespread criticism, as they promote blatant lies about U.S. history — a recently announced change in curriculum, for example, requires teachers to tell students that enslaved Black people “personally benefited” from the institution of slavery.

It will be “up to teachers” to decide whether or not to use materials, a spokesperson for the company said.

“This fall in schools across America, students will be watching PragerU videos in their classrooms as states officially make PragerU an approved educational resource,” the company said in a press release.

PragerU Kids advertises itself as providing “content for your child’s mind to fight the leftist lies.” Much of its content aims to indoctrinate young children with far right, nationalist views on Christianity, gender, immigration and economics.

Lessons frequently omit or change historical facts to further a right-wing agenda. In one video, for example, a man dressed as Uncle Sam quizzes children on the Electoral College, wrongly stating that “one of the benefits” of the system “is that it keeps candidates from only campaigning to states with large populations.”

That claim — which is often pushed by conservatives to justify maintaining an electoral system that largely benefits Republicans — is overstated; if candidates only campaigned to large states today under a popular vote model, it would be incredibly difficult for them to win in just those areas, as they’d have to win 100 percent of the eight most-populated states in the country to exceed a 50 percent-vote threshold. Because nearly one in five U.S. voters reside in rural areas, such a strategy would likely alienate voters, giving an incredible advantage to their opponents.

The video also disregards one of the main reasons the Electoral College was created: to appease states where slavery was legal. Indeed, the system still disenfranchises Black voters, according to the Brennan Center for Justice’s Wilfred U. Codrington III, who wrote in 2020:

More than two centuries after it was designed to empower southern whites, the Electoral College continues to do just that. The current system has a distinct, adverse impact on black voters, diluting their political power.

The PragerU Kids quiz video does not mention slavery or its role in the founders’ decision to create the Electoral College.

An examination of PragerU Kids by diggit magazine last month found that PragerU videos, widely popular in right-wing circles, “reject diversity and equality of genders, races and sexualities, support capitalism and the free market economy, and heavily relate their views to Christianity.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) also conducted an examination of PragerU, finding that the organization frequently rewrites history. The company, for instance, has rejected the well-established fact that Richard Nixon employed the “southern strategy” to appeal to racist voters in the U.S. South in order to win his elections.

“PragerU seems to be yet another node on the internet connecting conservative media consumers to the dark corners of the extreme right,” the SPLC analysis concluded.

Critics on social media blasted the decision to allow PragerU Kids materials in Florida schools.

The decision to allow PragerU materials is “the latest example showing that [Florida Republican Gov. Ron] DeSantis hasn’t removed political ideology schools, but rather amplified conservative Christian ideologies that he favors,” wrote Mike Hixenbaugh, senior investigative reporter for NBC News.

“The point of [DeSantis’s and other conservatives’ attacks on] public schools with the gay and trans conspiracy theories was always to oppress vulnerable groups, but also to weaken public education and create a controlled market for ideology-driven curricula producers,” said political analyst Jared Yates Sexton.

“This is Christian nationalist indoctrination making its way into public school classrooms,” wrote Mendi Tackett, a journalist who tracks Christian nationalist movements across the U.S.

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