Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is backing a bill prohibiting private businesses and public schools from teaching Critical Race Theory. The Senate Education Committee approved the Individual Freedom bill on Jan. 18.
The Individual Freedom bill doesn’t directly mention Critical Race Theory. However, the Republican governor attacked teaching an accurate account of slavery and the lasting effects of “state-sanctioned racism.” DeSantis also said CRT would lead to a “hostile work environment.”
“Individual Freedom; Providing that subjecting any individual, as a condition of employment, membership, certification, licensing, credentialing, or passing an examination, to training, instruction, or any other required activity that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual to believe specified concepts constitutes discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin; revising the requirements for required instruction on health education; prohibiting instructional materials reviewers from recommending instructional materials that contain any matter that contradicts certain principles, etc.”
The topics of slavery, racism and discrimination are allowed, but the legislation would prohibit teachers or instructors from using specific curricula.
“They are talking about not wanting white people to feel uncomfortable? Let’s talk about being uncomfortable,” said Jones. “My ancestors were uncomfortable when they were stripped away from their children.”
“The bill makes clear that no Floridian — student, worker, or anyone else — should be subjected to discriminatory content and rhetoric,” she wrote. “Every Floridian deserves an equal shot at success, regardless of skin color. This means considering each person as an individual with unique attributes, experiences, and aspirations, rather than stereotyping them as a member of this or that identity group. It is frankly disturbing that anyone would find these ideas controversial in the year 2022.”
“This isn’t even a ban on Critical Race Theory,” said Jones. “This is a ban on Black history.”