Florida Governor Brings New Bill to Schools and Business

Caitlyn Russell, student journalist

A new ban in Florida backed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is making quite an uproar in schools and businesses around their state. This bill was first approved on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. The Florida bill in question is named “Individual Freedom” however, it is not centered around freedom, instead it is to make people “comfortable” about confronting the past mistakes as a country. According to the bill, no individual should “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.” 

 

Many critics of this bill are saying that it is hiding a bigger issue, the idea of critical race theory and how there are different opinions on the topic. According to CNN’s writer Amy Simonson, “Although the bill, named ‘Individual Freedom,’ does not mention Critical Race Theory, the term is used in the attached bill analysis that was given to senators”. Governor DeSantis also mentions critical race theory when he announced the proposed legislation at an event back in December of 2021. DeSantis said that the new bill will keep critical race theory out of the business and education, calling it “state-sanctioned racism” that creates a “hostile work environment.”

 

The bill is labeled as going under business and schools but is mostly centered with the idea that schools should not teach ideas that are connected with critical race theory. It has caused arguments from teachers all across the state saying that the bill is a vague attack on education and on the curriculums of the racial oppressions in US history. Florida Education Association’s President Andrew Spar talked to ABC News about the new bill, he said to writer Kiara Alfonseca that “It would bring politics into the classroom, chill speech and leave our teachers afraid to teach basic concepts, like the idea that slavery is bad”

 

Florida is not the first to pass a bill like this, according to an article by ABC News’s Kiara Alfonseca, called “Florida Doubles Down on Anti-Critical Race Theory Legislation”, Many states have the same idea as Florida, and some bills are already intact across the country. Alfonseca said “the language mirrors many of the bills that have been introduced in roughly 32 states across the country that attempt to limit or restrict the teaching and discussion of racial history in the U.S.” 

 

However, Florida Governor DeSantis says that his position is to make everyone feel comfortable, regardless of any differences that people might have from one another. His statement to CNN is that “discrimination based on race, color, sex, and national origin” had no place in Florida.” and that the bill “makes clear that no Floridian — student, worker, or anyone else — should be subjected to discriminatory content and rhetoric,” 

If you are interested in this story please feel free to read other articles on this: https://www.npr.org/2022/02/03/1077878538/legislation-restricts-what-teachers-can-discuss  

https://www.flgov.com/2021/12/15/governor-desantis-announces-legislative-proposal-to-stop-w-o-k-e-activism-and-critical-race-theory-in-schools-and-corporations/