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Protection from Woke Indoctrination and Discrimination

Governor Ron DeSantis talking about the signing of HB 7 in Hialeah Gardens, Florida, last Friday.
-Courtesy Photo

Staff Reports

On April 22, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 7, in Hialeah Gardens, to give businesses, employees, children and families tools to stand up against discrimination and woke indoctrination.

The bill includes provisions to prevent discriminatory instruction in the workplace and in public schools and defines individual freedoms based on the fundamental truth that all individuals are equal before the law and have inalienable rights. This legislation is the first of its kind in the nation to take on both corporate wokeness and Critical Race Theory in schools in one act.

“No one should be instructed to feel as if they are not equal or shamed because of their race,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “In Florida, we will not let the far-left woke agenda take over our schools and workplaces. There is no place for indoctrination or discrimination in Florida.”

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Governor for showing the people of Florida what a true statesman looks like,” said Alysha Legge, Mother, Hillsborough County. “You have been a true representative of the people, maintaining our individual liberties and our constitutional principles, not special interests or political ideologies. Can you imagine that my children, who are of various shades of melanin, being told that because they are of lighter skin, they are oppressors or because they are of darker skin, they are oppressed. What does that do to them mentally and emotionally? What does that do to us as a family?”

HB 7 protects civil rights in employment and K-20 education by specifying that subjecting an employee or student to a required activity that promotes, advances, or compels individuals to believe discriminatory concepts, constitutes unlawful discrimination.

Concepts constituting unlawful discrimination include:

That members of one race, color, national origin or sex are morally superior to members of another race, color, national origin or sex.

A person by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive.

A person’s moral character or status as privileged or oppressed is determined by race, color, national origin or sex.

A person, by virtue of their race, color, national origin or sex should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity or inclusion.

The bill also requires instruction, instructional materials, and professional development in public schools to adhere to principles of individual freedom outlined in the bill. Those principles include that no person is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive just by virtue of his or her race or sex and meritocracy or hard work ethic are not racist but fundamental to the right to pursue success.

The bill authorizes discussion of topics such as sexism, slavery, racial oppression, racial segregation, and racial discrimination, in an age-appropriate manner, and in such a way that does not indoctrinate or persuade students to a certain point of view that is inconsistent with the principles of individual freedom.

The bill also expands instruction of African American history to develop students’ understanding of the ramifications of prejudice and racism. Classroom instruction will educate students on what it means to be a respectful and responsible citizen and encourage tolerance of diversity to protect democratic principles that our country is founded on. Schools are required to teach factual information on topics including African American history and the Holocaust instead of subjective indoctrination that pushes collective guilt. 

“By signing this legislation, which is the first in the nation to end corporate wokeness and Critical Race Theory in our schools, we are prioritizing education not indoctrination,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “We will always fight to protect our children and parents from this Marxist-inspired curriculum.” 

“I am grateful that Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature have taken a stand against discrimination, especially against revisionist history and ideological concepts that are outside Florida’s academic standards,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “These dangerous concepts seek to divide Americans, rather than unite them. This legislation affirms that all students, no matter their backgrounds, should be treated as individuals with unique experiences, and that they should be afforded equal opportunities to find success and fulfillment. That’s why the Florida Department of Education is focused on ensuring our classrooms are teaching children how to think, not what to think.”

“Critical Race Theory takes people and segregates them against each other. Individualism is not exclusive for any race, and it is patronizing to say people have different work ethic based on their skin color,” said Christopher Rufo, Senior Fellow and Director of the Initiative on Critical Race Theory, The Manhattan Institute. “We are in the initial stages down a dark path, but luckily community leaders have said not in this state, not in this country. I think it is a testament to the legislators in Florida and the greatest Governor in the country right now, standing up to these people. He stood up to the lies, he stood up to the ideologies and he stood up to the big corporations because he is on your side and he’s not going to back down.”