On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, introduced the “Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act” law to allow parents to sue schools that incorporate critical race theory in their curriculum.
DeSantis has said the act would be “the strongest legislation of its kind in the nation and will take on both corporate wokeness and Critical Race Theory.” The governor rolled out the legislation at a campaign-style press conference, and it would give parents the opportunity to sue schools utilizing the theory in classrooms.
While it is often thought to be a graduate-level concept taught at universities, some consider certain books and classroom prompts evidence that the study has found its way into primary and secondary schools.
Desantis’ office gave a press release on the bill, listing seven “National examples of Critical Race Theory,” but none of those examples were in Florida. The bill would also give employees the ability to sue companies that promote the theory and require certain sensitivity and racial awareness trainings.
Critical race theory suggests that racism and white supremacy are core tenants of American history, laws, and institutions. Formal instruction of the theory is already banned in the state, but the governor and other Republicans say the core ideas are still being taught.
“In Florida we are taking a stand against the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory,” DeSantis noted. “We won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or hate each other. We also have a responsibility to ensure that parents have the means to vindicate their rights when it comes to enforcing state standards.” But Democrats in the state have criticized the new law, saying DeSantis is further dividing Florida over the issue.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ELAMERICAN.COM