Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has proposed codifying into law the state Board of Education’s ban on critical race theory, with provisions that would defund schools that hire CRT “consultants,” and would allow parents to sue districts over CRT and recover attorney fees.

In workplaces, to the extent that existing Florida civil rights law doesn’t protect employees from being subjected to “racism” in corporate diversity training, DeSantis’ Stop WOKE Act would seek to address that, he said Wednesday.

“We believe this corporate CRT is basically corporate-sanctioned racism and they’re trying to shove it down employees’ throats,” he said, describing CRT consultants as a “cottage industry” that charge a “king’s ransom” for their services.

“If you’re in a company and someone’s telling dirty jokes, that could be considered a hostile work environment,” he said. “Well, how is it not a hostile work environment to be attacking people based on their race, or telling them that they’re privileged or part of oppressive systems, when all they’re doing is showing up to work and trying to earn a living?”

If DeSantis’ measure (the full name is the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act) passes the GOP-controlled state legislature, Florida would become the 10th state where legislators have approved anti-CRT laws. DeSantis’ office called it the “strongest legislation of its kind in the nation.”

There’s no universally accepted definition of “critical race theory” outside its grounding in academia. The GOP contends that CRT is any teaching that probes racism or casts the nation’s history in a negative light, while schools generally counter that CRT, as the concept is understood in higher ed, isn’t actually being taught to young students.

Lately, RepublicansThey even suggested that equity training and social emotional learning were a bait-and switch to what they refer to as critical race theory.

“Just understand that when you hear ‘equity’ used, that is just an ability for people to smuggle in their ideology,” DeSantis said.

Florida’s governor has made a major political issue out of CRT in the state’s public schools. The Florida Board of Education was directed by him in June. ban CRT, and has vowed to get the state’s GOP apparatus involvedParticipate in the local school board elections.

He argued that his newest legislative proposal, particularly the avenue for legal recourse, is a way to give parents more control over their children’s education. People who break anti-CRT laws are likely to be afraid of a lawsuit more than a penalty, because legal proceedings could uncover evidence that CRT is being taught at schools.

“When they say they’re not doing CRT and then you have all this information showing that they are doing it, it really is an uncomfortable position for them,” DeSantis said. “So I think that gives parents the ability to go in and ensure that our state standards are being followed.”

The Stop WOKE Act would codify into law that “no taxpayer dollars should be used to teach our kids to hate our country or to hate each other,” he said.

DeSantis, who’s considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate on the GOP side, rolled out his legislation in Wildwood, Florida, surrounded by activists with anti-CRT and anti-woke signs. He took the opportunity to denounce Marxism and “woke ideology.”

The president of the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest union with more than 150,000 members, said in a statement that educators should be able to teach history accurately to their students.

“Teachers should have the freedom to teach honest, complete facts about historical events like slavery and civil rights without being censored by politicians,” FEA President Andrew Spar said. “The governor’s announcement today goes against this fundamental American value. All Florida’s children should receive a fact-based education that doesn’t change depending on their ZIP code.”

The union previously came out against the state Board of Education’s CRT ban, which specifically bars the use of The New York Times’ 1619 ProjectSimilar teachings are included in curricula.

Source: HuffPost.com.

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