The governor signed legislation on Friday that will regulate how schools and businesses address race and gender.
The Stop WOKE Act prohibits workplace training or school instruction that teaches that individuals are racist, sexist, or oppressive. The law says such trainings are discrimination.
The Republican-led legislation passed the Florida House in February by a vote of 74-41 and the Florida Senate in March by a vote of 24-15 along partisan lines.
In Florida, no one should be told to feel inferior because of their race. There is no place for discrimination in Florida.
The legislation was called the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act and was proposed by a Republican.
He said at the time that Florida tax dollars would not be used to teach kids to hate the country or each other.
Critical race theory explores how institutions perpetuate racism. It isn't being taught at the K-12 level in many school districts. The topic has become a target for conservative critics who argue that lessons about racism will make white students uncomfortable.
Inside the Fight Over What Kids Learn About America is a new book.
Florida's new law has been criticized by civil rights groups and free-speech advocates who warn that it will have a chilling effect on educators.
Amy Turkel, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said in a statement that the law is part of a nationwide trend to whitewash history and chill free speech.
The law allows teachers to address how the individual freedoms of persons have been violated by slavery, racial oppression, racial segregation, and racial discrimination.
The law states that officials who review instructional material may not recommend materials that reflect race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, or other characteristics.
It prohibits lessons or trainings in schools and workplaces that teach that people should not be treated differently because of their race or color. Merit or racial colorblindness are concepts that were created by members of a particular race, color, sex, or national origin to oppress members of another race, color, sex, or national origin.
Disney, the largest private employer in the state, was called out by the sponsor of the legislation. He said that the company's diversity training would run afoul of the new law.
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Critics of the law are concerned that it affects both public colleges and universities, where there are stronger protections for academic freedom.
Jeremy Young is the senior manager of free expression and education at PEN America, an organization that advocates for free expression.
Some schools and colleges have already canceled events related to civil rights or courses covering race, fearing backlash or sanctions if they violate new education-related laws. In January, for example, Florida's Osceola County school district canceled a workshop for teachers about the civil rights movement in light of the current conversations across our state and in our community about critical race theory.
It was months before the law became law. Young thinks the bill will intimidate every teacher in the state of Florida.
Florida's new law is the latest example of legislation that takes aim at discussions of identity.
In March, the state enacted a law that prohibits public schools from teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade.
I hope this law is repealed.
The legislation could affect the mental health of students and make schools less welcoming.
In March, he signed a law allowing parents to review all curriculum materials and school library books and object to those they don't like.
We have never seen anything like this in terms of concerted attacks on public education.
The Florida Department of Education rejected 54 of the 132 submitted math textbooks because they included references to critical race theory and SEL.
Schools use social-emotional learning strategies to promote mental health and to help students cope with stress, which can affect their ability to focus and learn in school. The subject has become a target of conservative critics, who argue that it focuses on discussions about identity and racial and gender equity.
The state could approach enforcement of the Stop WOKE law differently if the math textbooks were rejected.
The Florida Department of Education will enforce the law to the fullest extent they can.
You can write to the person at the time.