Jun 10, 2021 - Politics

Florida's board of education bans critical race theory in public schools

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Critical race theory, which links racial discrimination to America's foundations and legal system, is now barred from Florida schools, marking another win for Gov. Ron DeSantis on yet another culture war front.

What happened: The state Board of Education voted to ban critical race theory on Thursday after a video address from DeSantis encouraging them to do so.

The new rule, in part, via NBC News:

  • "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."
  • It also banned any apparent effort by teachers "to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view."

The big picture: Critical race theory is not taught in any public school system, including Florida's, but has been targeted by GOP leaders.

  • More than a dozen states are considering banning it or have already made laws to limit the teaching of American history.
  • Axios' Russ Contreras called the battle "a new fault line in the culture wars, with implications for how the next generation of Americans understands U.S. history."

What they're saying: DeSantis put out an attention-grabbing press release, per Florida Politics, channeling the language of conservative pundits:

  • "The woke class wants to teach kids to hate each other, rather than teaching them how to read, but we will not let them bring nonsense ideology into Florida’s schools. I find it unthinkable that there are other people in positions of leadership in the federal government who believe that we should teach kids to hate our country."

The other side: The Florida Education Association opposed the rule change, arguing, "students deserve the best education we can provide, and that means giving them a true picture of their world and our shared history as Americans."


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