A bill is moving forward in the Florida state senate that would prohibit any public school or private business from causing white people to feel “discomfort” when they are taught or trained about discrimination in U.S. history.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat the SB 148 law The legislation (SB 148) by Sen. Manny Diaz, R-Miami, is said by its sponsor to protect “individual freedoms.” would prohibit teaching students in grades K-12 anything “that could make individuals feel responsible for historic wrongs because of their race, color, sex or national origin.” When it comes to the workplace, any employment practice or training program that could make an individual feel guilty on similar grounds could be construed as an unlawful employment practice, which could also make the company subject to a lawsuit.
The bill, supported by Republicans, is similar to demands that Gov. Ron DeSantis has made surrounding education. Democrats criticized the measure, arguing that it would lead to frivolous lawsuits, lead to censorship in schools and be burdensome upon teachers.
They demanded real-life examples of teachers or businesses telling students or employees that they are racist because of their race. The Democrat reports their requests were left unanswered.
The legislation echoes a call by DeSantis, who last month outlined his “Stop WOKE Act,” which he said was to block “wrongs to our kids and employees.”
The new bill reads in part, “An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, does not bear responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex. An individual should not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race.”
DeSantis was successful last year in getting the state Board of Education to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in schools – where it has never been and is not currently being taught – by saying it is “indoctrinating kids with faddish ideologies.”
Diaz’s legislation, however, stops short of meeting DeSantis’ demand that students be allowed to sue school boards if critical race theory is taught.
Diaz’s bill cleared the Education Committee on a party-line vote.
The NAACP of Florida, the Florida PTA, Equality Florida and the American Civil Liberties Union testified against the measure. Those favoring the legislation included the Florida Citizens Alliance and the Florida Family Policy Council.