Florida governor Ron DeSantis announced a bill to ban critical race theory called the "Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees Act," or “Stop WOKE Act.” The legislation would ban the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 schools. It would also prohibit school districts, colleges and universities from hiring CRT consultants.
The governor’s office says the law would “protect employees against a hostile work environment due to critical race theory training."
WTLV reports that the act seeks to make law of DeSantis’ direction earlier this year providing that the Florida Department of Education prohibit CRT in schools. The act would also allow parents who sue and win a lawsuit against a school district with CRT curriculum to recoup attorneys’ fees.
Calling it "corporate-sanctioned racism," DeSantis asked, "How's it not a hostile work environment to be attacking people based on their race or telling people that they're privileged or that they're part of oppressive systems when all they're doing is showing up to work and trying to earn a living?"
“Critical race theory” is generally not seen outside law schools or academia. Schools have pointed out that CRT, as the concept is understood in higher education, isn’t actually being taught to young students. Republicans often claim that CRT is any teaching that explores racism or looks critically at the nation’s history. DeSantis argued that his newest legislative proposal is designed to give parents more control over their children’s education.
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DeSantis has made a major political issue out of CRT in Florida public schools. Since instructing the Florida Board of Education to ban CRT this summer, Florida Politics reports that DeSantis swore to compel the state’s GOP apparatus to turn against any Republican who opposes any of his educational reforms.
The Florida Education Association came out in support of educators accurately teaching history to their students. In a statement, union president Andrew Spar wrote:
“Teachers should have the freedom to teach honest, complete facts about historical events like slavery and civil rights without being censored by politicians. The governor’s announcement today goes against this fundamental American value. All Florida’s children should receive a fact-based education that doesn’t change depending on their ZIP code.”
DeSantis' proposal will be considered during the 2022 Legislative Session, which starts in January.