Florida banned critical race theory from being taught in schools on Thursday (June 10), becoming the latest state to act against the curriculum. Along with the theory, which examines the American legal system within the context of race, the Florida State Board of Education also banned teachings from The New York Times’ The 1619 Project.
“Florida’s education system exists to create opportunity for our children. Critical Race Theory teaches kids to hate our country and to hate each other,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted. “It is state-sanctioned racism and has no place in Florida schools.”
According to CNN, the amendment requires that subjects in schools be “factual and objective” and prohibits “the teaching of Critical Race Theory, meaning the theory that racism is not merely the product of prejudice, but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons.”
Appearing virtually before the vote, DeSantis also called it “outrageous” that teaches would want to incorporate the theory in their classrooms.
“Some of this stuff is, I think, really toxic,” he said. “I think it’s going to cause a lot of divisions. I think it’ll cause people to think of themselves more as a member of a particular race based on skin color, rather than based on the content of their character and based on their hard work and what they’re trying to accomplish in life.”
Prior to the Florida vote, critical race theory was also banned from schools in Idaho and Tennessee. However, the Florida Education Association, which is made up of teachers, urged the board to reject the amendment.
“The job of educators is to challenge students with facts and allow them to question and think critically about information, and that’s the antithesis of indoctrination,” Cathy Boehme, an advocate for the association, told the board. “No matter our color, background or ZIP Code, we want our kids to have an education that imparts honesty about who we are; integrity and how we treat others; and the courage to do what’s right.”