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  • Writer's pictureAva Babington

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Is Attacking Our Education

Updated: Jan 14

As the 2024 Presidential Election is getting closer, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been busy enacting extremely conservative Republican ideas into state law to attract more support from the Republican Party, and he is now attacking students in Florida along with our education.

As many know, last school year DeSantis was calling for a ban on certain books, and unfortunately was successful on banning books in schools that mention sexual orientation and identity, that have more liberal or leftist leaning ideas, that involves race discussion, etc.

In July, the Florida Board of Education, which is ran by DeSantis' administration, approved a new set of academic standards that changes how Black history is taught in Florida classrooms. In the curriculum, it does not mention Florida's role in slavery and the discrimination of African Americans.

Elementary and middle school students are not required to learn about the Reconstruction era, and there is a benchmark clarification in the curriculum for middle school that states, "Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit."

Black history should not be whitewashed and sugarcoated, and Vice President Kamala Harris has made a statement that shames DeSantis for the new curriculum.

DeSantis has shown his support for a conservative ran media organization that creates history videos for kids. Florida is the first state to approve PragerU Kids videos, which is frightening and quite frankly an embarrassment. The videos include showing slavery as a norm and explaining how in 1852 every country in the world participated in slavery; however, that is incorrect because France had already outlawed the trading of slaves. The videos also include anti-climate change ideas and shows the likening of the fight against climate change activism to Poland's fight against the Nazis.

Jessica Wright, vice president of the Florida Freedom to Read project, has said that the videos do include some accurate facts, but sometimes they incorporate in opinions and skip over important facts.

DeSantis has said many times that he wants to put an end to the "indoctrination of students," but then supports and allows educational videos that teach history with conservative ideas or opinions.

Along with the changes in curriculum, DeSantis has signed bills into law that prohibits the conversations of sexual orientation and identity, blocks the use of preferred pronouns in school, forces transgender students to use the bathroom of their biological sex, and he has recently expanded the Florida's Parents Right law, also known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill to high school. DeSantis has also made it illegal for teachers to use students' preferred names or nicknames without signed parental consent. For example, if a student's name is "Joshua", a teacher cannot call him "Josh" unless consented by parents.

Not only is this just a silly law, but it also targets transgender or non-binary students that want to go by a name that was not assigned to them at birth. Many transgender and non-binary students have abusive or non-supportive parents that do not know or allow them to be anything but straight and cisgender. If those students are not comfortable or do not feel safe telling their parents about their identity, then they cannot go by a name at school that makes them feel confident.

As a student in Florida, it is sickening to watch and experience the hateful change DeSantis is making to mine and other's education.

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