The Florida Board of Education approved a rule on Thursday initiated by Gov. Ron DeSantis to prohibit public classrooms from teaching critical race theory. The rule specifies that public schools are required to teach American history based on “universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”
Critical Race Theory proposes that everything is racist. It's not a question of "if," but "how" something is racist — and it's your responsibility to identify it and call it out.
The move to ban the teaching of the race-essentialist ideology makes it one of the largest public school systems to do so as efforts to curb Critical Race Theory and related “theories” gain momentum across the United States.
Ahead of the Board’s vote, the Department of Education released a statement that read in part:
Students need to have a clear understanding of their role in society and be ready to fully engage in their local, state, and national governments. Ideological theories have no place in our classrooms. The Governor has been very clear that teachers need to be teaching students how to think -- not what to think. He is committed to ensuring that every student is provided a world-class education that prepares them for future success.
The rule says:
Instruction on the required topics must be factual and objective and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.
According to NBC News, the rule’s passage happened amid protests to disrupt the proceedings and prevent the board from voting. According to News4Jax, several groups, including the state’s teachers union, opposed the rule change.
NBC News called the move a win for DeSantis, who has led the charge against Critical Race Theory in schools.
“[DeSantis] told board members, many of whom he appointed, by video before the vote that students should be served with fact-based curricula by teachers who should 'not be trying to indoctrinate them with ideology,'” NBC said.
“I think it's going to cause a lot of divisions,” said DeSantis.
“I think it'll cause people to think of themselves more as a member of a particular race based on skin color, rather than based on the content of their character and based on their hard work and what they're trying to accomplish in life.”