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Florida students protest as response to what they claim is the DeSantis’ politicization of education

Students at Florida International University and other schools in the state held a walkout on Thursday to protest Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plans to get rid of programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.

Students from many groups, like the NAACP, the United Faculty of Florida, and Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, set up tents and tables.

Ness Cruz, a student at FIU, said, “I want to be a teacher in the future, and I’m also a student. The bottom line is that this issue is an attack on education and on freedom of speech.” “Those are probably the two most important ideas behind this movement,” he said.

The students who planned the protests are upset about what they say is the governor’s attempt to politicize education.

In kindergarten through third grade, DeSantis wants to stop teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity. This is part of the Parental Rights in Education bill, which activists have called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

A bill in the Florida statehouse that would make it harder for schools to talk about sexual orientation and gender identity is almost ready to become law. Steve Litz of NBC 6 has the story.

DeSantis also signed the “Stop WOKE” act in 2022. This law made it harder to teach, among other things, that people of one race are inherently racist or should feel guilty about what other people of the same race did in the past.

More recently, he stopped high schools from teaching a new AP course on African American studies, saying it broke a state law and was wrong about the past.

In addition to K–12 schools, DeSantis put six conservatives on the board of The New College of Florida, a small liberal arts college that has been known for a long time as a progressive place.

Julia Bagg from NBC 6 has more on what this could mean after the controversial decision by the Governor of Florida to not let the course be taught in schools.

He has also said that he wants to stop state colleges from offering classes on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as critical race theory.

Thursday, students at South Plantation High School and other colleges in the state planned to walk out again.

Alfred Duncan

Alfred Duncan is a senior editor at The South Florida Daily, where he oversees our coverage of politics, misinformation, health and economics. Alfred is a former reporter and editor for BuzzFeed News, National Geographic and USA Today.

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