No room in Florida classrooms for critical race theory, DeSantis says

No room in Florida classrooms for critical race theory, DeSantis says
AP Photo/Phil Sears
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Critical race theory faces a new opponent in Florida with Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has pledged to stop allowing the state to teach kids the poisonous ideology which has infected numerous academic institutions. 

Florida is among the first states set to purge the teaching of “critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories” from its public schools. On Wednesday, DeSantis unveiled a new set of priorities for the state’s education system in a press conference. He pointed out that the state’s civic education must focus on “foundational principles,” rather than a progressive ideology like critical race theory, which sees all of history through the lens of race. 

Critical race theory has manifested in efforts like the New York Times’ 1619 Project, and others, which suggest that racism infects almost every institution in the United States. The 1619 Project in particular claims that the American Revolution was fought to protect the institution of slavery. 

“Florida civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials, and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories,” DeSantis said. 

“Let me be clear, there’s no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory,” he added. “Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money. So we will invest in actual, solid, true curriculum and we will be a leader in the development and implementation of a world class civics education.”

To incentivize his plan’s adoption, DeSantis ordered the Florida Department of Education to create a Florida Civic Seal of Excellence and a $3,000 bonus to be awarded to teachers who complete a course on teaching traditional American concepts and principles, reports News4Jax

DeSantis’ move to block critical race theory from public schools is part of a trend currently developing in other red states. In West Virginia, Republicans have introduced a bill seeking to ban critical race theory from being included in the state’s education curriculum. 

The Republican-controlled legislature in West Virginia has banned other divisive concepts, including claims that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex”; the “United States is fundamentally racist or sexist”; “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously”; and  “an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.”

The New Hampshire legislature is also attempting to ban similar teachings in a bill that views critical race theory and its associated training as detrimental to social cohesion.

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