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ICYMI: Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Legislation to Protect Floridians from Discrimination and Woke Indoctrination

April 22, 2022

Governor's Press Office

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Legislation to Protect Floridians from Discrimination and Woke Indoctrination

Hialeah Gardens, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 7, to give businesses, employees, children and families tools to stand up against discrimination and woke indoctrination. The bill includes provisions to prevent discriminatory instruction in the workplace and in public schools and defines individual freedoms based on the fundamental truth that all individuals are equal before the law and have inalienable rights. This legislation is the first of its kind in the nation to take on both corporate wokeness and Critical Race Theory in schools in one act. Read more here.

“No one should be instructed to feel as if they are not equal or shamed because of their race,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “In Florida, we will not let the far-left woke agenda take over our schools and workplaces. There is no place for indoctrination or discrimination in Florida.”

“By signing this legislation, which is the first in the nation to end corporate wokeness and Critical Race Theory in our schools, we are prioritizing education not indoctrination,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “We will always fight to protect our children and parents from this Marxist-inspired curriculum.” 

“I am grateful that Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature have taken a stand against discrimination, especially against revisionist history and ideological concepts that are outside Florida’s academic standards,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “These dangerous concepts seek to divide Americans, rather than unite them. This legislation affirms that all students, no matter their backgrounds, should be treated as individuals with unique experiences, and that they should be afforded equal opportunities to find success and fulfillment. That’s why the Florida Department of Education is focused on ensuring our classrooms are teaching children how to think, not what to think.”

“Every person is created equal and entitled to their dignity as an individual. We have heard concerns that students and workers are being pushed to adopt the personal or political viewpoints of employers, teachers or textbook authors,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. This bill protects our individual freedoms and prevents discrimination in public schools and the workplace while supporting factual, educational discussions for our students.”

“Today, Florida took an important step to ensure that our schools and workplaces are spaces where we can have healthy instruction and conversation without losing sight that we are first and foremost individuals. Importantly, the bill provides assurance for parents that some of the most difficult lessons about our nation’s history and current events are taught accurately while treating everyone as individuals,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “Thanks to Speaker pro tempore Avila’s great work carrying this bill and Governor DeSantis signing it into law today, Florida’s students and employees will be judged as individuals, by their words, character and actions, not simply by their race, sex or national origin.”

“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for being the most anti-woke governor in our nation,” said Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. “No Floridian should ever be subjected to discriminatory content or rhetoric, especially when at school or in the workplace. Florida is committed to objectively teaching our students about important historical facts and events, not indoctrination.”

“Critical Race Theory takes people and segregates them against each other. Individualism is not exclusive for any race, and it is patronizing to say people have different work ethic based on their skin color," said Christopher Rufo, Senior Fellow and Director of the Initiative on Critical Race Theory, The Manhattan Institute. "We are in the initial stages down a dark path, but luckily community leaders have said not in this state, not in this country. I think it is a testament to the legislators in Florida and the greatest Governor in the country right now, standing up to these people. He stood up to the lies, he stood up to the ideologs and he stood up to the big corporations because he is on your side and he’s not going to back down.”

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Governor for showing the people of Florida what a true statesman looks like,” said Alysha Legge, Mother, Hillsborough County. “You have been a true representative of the people, maintaining our individual liberties and our constitutional principles, not special interests or political ideologies. Can you imagine that my children, who are of various shades of melanin, being told that because they are of lighter skin, they are oppressors or because they are of darker skin, they are oppressed. What does that do to them mentally and emotionally? What does that do to us as a family?”

“There is only so much a great school can insulate, when required English Language Arts curriculum vocabulary textbooks mention racism and bias,” said Christine Chaparro, Mother, Broward County. “My kids were sent home with books that encourage them to research an anti-racism book. These benchmark textbooks are not accurate and not appropriate for public-school education. I have always been involved in my kids’ education, serving as room-mom and sitting on the PTA board, and I know my family isn’t alone in looking for alternatives for our kids.”

“Governor DeSantis has again been bold and courageous,” said Quisha King, Mother. “It is because of Governor DeSantis’ bold and courageous leadership that we do not have to hear these excuses that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in schools because Governor DeSantis, Chris and all of the parents have been showing you evidence after evidence that this is real, and it is happening to our children. We do not want our children racially segregated and we do not want our children to be looked at through the lens of race. We have taught our kids our values that say do not judge us by the color of our skin, it is simple.”

HB 7 protects civil rights in employment and K-20 education by specifying that subjecting an employee or student to a required activity that promotes, advances, or compels individuals to believe discriminatory concepts, constitutes unlawful discrimination.

Concepts constituting unlawful discrimination include:

  • That members of one race, color, national origin or sex are morally superior to members of another race, color, national origin or sex.
  • A person by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive.
  • A person’s moral character or status as privileged or oppressed is determined by race, color, national origin or sex.
  • A person, by virtue of their race, color, national origin or sex should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity or inclusion.

The bill also requires instruction, instructional materials, and professional development in public schools to adhere to principles of individual freedom outlined in the bill. Those principles include that no person is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive just by virtue of his or her race or sex and meritocracy or hard work ethic are not racist but fundamental to the right to pursue success.

The bill authorizes discussion of topics such as sexism, slavery, racial oppression, racial segregation, and racial discrimination, in an age-appropriate manner, and in such a way that does not indoctrinate or persuade students to a certain point of view that is inconsistent with the principles of individual freedom.

The bill also expands instruction of African American history to develop students' understanding of the ramifications of prejudice and racism. Classroom instruction will educate students on what it means to be a respectful and responsible citizen and encourage tolerance of diversity to protect democratic principles that our country is founded on. Schools are required to teach factual information on topics including African American history and the Holocaust instead of subjective indoctrination that pushes collective guilt.

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