Gov. DeSantis calls out diversity in Florida schools, ‘woke mob’ in roundtable

Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. joined Florida governor

(AP Photo/Phil Sears) (Phil Sears, Copyright 2023 the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hosted a roundtable Monday morning with education officials to discuss his decisive stances on diversity in the classroom.

During the roundtable, DeSantis called out the “woke mob” and echoed his support for proposed legislation that would prohibit Florida colleges and universities from funding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and ban “general education courses that distort historical events or that use instruction from (critical race theory) and establish new standards and adoption procedures for these courses,” according to the governor’s office.

“In Florida, we are not going to back down to the woke mob, and we will expose the scams they are trying to push onto students across the country,” the governor said. “Florida students will receive an education, not a political indoctrination.”

The proposed legislation would also prohibit the “solicitation of pledges or commitments to DEI, CRT or any political viewpoint as a condition of hiring, promotion, disciplinary action or evaluation process,” a news release shows.

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The governor was joined by Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr., who further drove home DeSantis’ views.

“DEI divides students and at its very core is the antithesis to its so-called mission,” Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. said in a statement. “These initiatives have completely transformed over the years, from what were once simple efforts to ensure equal access to all students, to now focusing on ideology over merit.”

This comes shortly after Florida House Bill 999 was filed, which aims to target DEI and CRT programming and funding at all of the state’s public colleges and universities.

“The people who are going to suffer the consequences of these bills are kids,” Chris Finan, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, told News 6 partner WPLG-TV.

Some students at the University of South Florida in Tampa organized protests against the bill.

In response, DeSantis’ office released a statement saying that House Bill 999 aims to push back “against the tactics of liberal elites who suppress free thought in the name of identity politics and indoctrination.”

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About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.