When middle school students in Florida’s Palm Beach County School District return to class in the fall, they may have the option to take a new elective course on racism.

The class, which is called “Prejudice and Power: A Discourse on Race and Ethnicity in the United States,” is expected to educate students on race relations in America.

Brian Knowles, the manager of the office of African, African American, Latino, Holocaust and Gender studies for the Palm Beach County School District told WPTV that the purpose of the course is to allow students to have difficult conversations about race.

“This is not about a teacher. This is not about my personal beliefs or opinions about issues. This is more about an unbiased, objective approach to just the realities that exist,” he explained.

Knowles added, “It’s important for our young people to be able to start to engage in these conversations. Because one of the things we have done wrong as adults is that when we have these conversations, we have lost any sense of being able to dissent and dissent peacefully.”

Although the course idea has been in development for over a year, the Florida Department of Education still has to approve the class before it is officially added to the curriculum.

Diana Fedderman, the assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in Palm Beach County revealed that there have been some people who are not happy about the potential elective.

“Maybe not everybody is excited about these spaces, but I think that only proves how incredibly important it is to provide those spaces,” she said.

Knowles revealed that the death of George Floyd and the global protests that resulted from the incident contributed to the push to offer students the elective course for the upcoming school year

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A teacher shows pupils how to clean their hands in a classroom at a school in the Paris' suburb of La Courneuve. AFP/Martin BUREAU