DeSantis Backs New Education Program, Draws ‘Policy Violence’ Claims

DeSantis Backs New Education Program, Draws 'Policy Violence' Claims

( – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has once again stoked controversy over his sweeping new K-12 public school curriculum on black history. The controversy revolves around the supposed requirement for middle school teachers to teach kids that enslaved black Americans “developed skills” that, in some instances, could be used for their “personal benefit.”

Black civil rights leaders in the state, who once applauded the now-presidential candidate for pardoning four black men falsely convicted of rape at the start of his governorship, are now condemning him, pointing to what they call a pattern of “policy violence” against people of color by DeSantis.

The changes to the state’s curriculum come after DeSantis signed the 2022 “Stop Woke Act,” which mandated that educational subjects concerning race must be taught in an “objective manner.” The law was meant to combat liberal education initiatives undergirded by Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and, in some cases, Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Republicans have criticized the implementation of DEI programs around the country, maintaining that such initiatives mask racial discrimination as “racial justice,” and that they posit that certain groups will have to be discriminated against in order for disadvantaged groups to level the playing field.

DeSantis has since defended the new curriculum, which was approved by the Florida State Board of Education. However, DeSantis also insisted that the curriculum was factual because it was developed by scholars and not by Republican Party officials.

The news comes as a handful of states have pushed back against liberal education initiatives, with DeSantis having previously signed a bill that bars state colleges and universities from pursuing DEI initiatives. Texas also passed a law that bars public colleges and universities from having DEI offices on their campuses.

The news also comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s once-in-a-lifetime ruling on Affirmative Action, ruling that colleges and universities cannot discriminate on the basis of race in the college admissions process, even for so-called “racial equity” or “diversity” initiatives.

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