“Florida is the place where woke goes to die,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a speech on Tuesday to discuss the state’s teacher recruitment efforts.
Speaking before a crowd of journalists in New Port Richey, DeSantis discussed the state’s curriculum and its efforts to prevent woke indoctrination and radical progressive ideology out of state schools. During the speech, he also pushed against medical board efforts to legitimize so-called gender affirmation therapy.
“With everything, I think that we’re putting Floridians first, we’re putting Americans first. If we have a qualified teacher in the United States or in Florida, I don’t want to go with a foreigner over somebody that’s from our communities,” DeSantis said. “There’s nothing wrong with, in some situations, I don’t know how it would work, with what they’re doing, but clearly we believe in putting the people here in Florida first. Our programs are designed to benefit Floridians, not people in other countries.”
In response to questions about why teaching is no longer as attractive a career for college graduates today as it was in the past, DeSantis said that he is working on improving the average minimum salaries for teachers in the state as part of his initiative to recruit more educators.
The governor added that the way schools are teaching education to become teachers is far less effective than it was in the past.
“I think these schools of education and the specific way they go about, I don’t think is the right way to do it,” DeSantis said. “I don’t think these [education] schools have proven to be effective. I think what you do is you get people that have proficiency in core academic disciplines, then you have them go in. But trying to teach them at certain schools of education, I think that’s been overtaken by ideology. I think that’s a turn-off for a lot of people.”
DeSantis said that most people pursue a career in education to help students and not to be a “cog in some indoctrination machine.”
“Our mantra has been, in our schools, to educate kids, not indoctrinate kids,” DeSantis said. “Hopefully what we’re doing is saying that teaching is not about learning ‘education in college or university,’ it’s really about having proficiency in subjects, then learning on the ground about how to do it.”
During the press conference, DeSantis also weighed in on woke ideology and its effects on the medical field and slammed gender reassignment surgeries for minors.
“If you look what’s happening in our society, you see institutions being infected with ideology at the expense of facts and reality. We’re fighting this thing with the medical board because they want to do sex change operations for minors,” DeSantis said. “A 14-year-old cannot get a tattoo, but they are talking, they will do mastectomies and things at the bottom which are very problematic and irreversible. These are kids going through a growing time in their life, there’s a lot of different factors, most of the dysphoria resolves itself by the time they become adults. So why would you disfigure a minor to be able to do?”
The governor said that the push for transgenderism in minors is being driven by ideology and not science. He pointed out that numerous experts were similarly wrong about COVID mitigation policies such as school closures and mandatory masking, pointing out that those in the medical field were similarly wrong about those subjects.
“It was not grounded in data, it was not grounded in evidence,” DeSantis said, highlighting how many on social media had formed a cult around displaying surgical mask and syringe emojis on their profiles.
“They lied to us about the mRNA shots, they said if you take it you will not get COVID. That is false, that is not true, and they continue to say, even when the evidence is so overwhelming, that not only is that not true, people that have multiple boosters, you definitely have risk… Time and time again, you see ideology being placed over data and evidence,” he said.
Toward the end of his speech, DeSantis pointed out that due to their embrace of ideology over science, those indoctrinated by these beliefs will “constantly shift” instead of admitting that they were wrong.
“Obviously in the classroom we’ve battled a lot of ideologies. What I’ve said is the state of Florida is the place where woke goes to die,” he said. “We are not going to let this state descend into some type of woke dumpster fire. We’re going to be following common sense, we’re going to be following facts.”