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DeSantis Tears at the Seams of His Diverse State with Fight on "Woke" Schools

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tags: Florida, culture war, teaching history, critical race theory, Ron DeSantis



The school system in Florida’s most populous county includes students whose families moved here from 160 nations.

Its expansive cultural mix is represented in the district’s curriculum, which includes not only American history, but also the stories of violent government upheavals, such as the revolution of enslaved people who founded Haiti, and the more recent political trauma of protesters who fled or perished in Castro’s Cuba.

But as Florida lawmakers consider legislation to police what students are taught, Miami Beach Senior High School teacher Russell Rywell wonders if he will still be able to discuss how some of his students’ ancestors arrived in the United States.

“How do you teach slavery? The slave trade? The Holocaust?” asked Rywell, a speech and debate teacher who has taught in Miami-Dade County’s public schools for 11 years. “How do you teach these issues without talking about the participants and the roles they played?”

As part of the “stop-woke” agenda of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Florida lawmakers are now considering bills that would allow almost anyone to object to any instruction in public school classrooms. DeSantis wants to give people the right to sue schools and teachers over what they teach based on student “discomfort.” The proposed legislation is far-reaching and could affect even corporate human resources diversity training.

While the legislation mirrors national efforts to ban critical race theory in schools, the debate in Florida has turned especially raw and emotional, a testament to how central multiculturalism is to the state’s identity. Many parents and teachers — who note that critical race theory is not taught in Florida’s public schools and is already banned under state law — fear the legislation would force teachers to whitewash history, literature and religion courses.

Read entire article at Washington Post

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