After hours of debate and public comment Thursday, the Florida State Board of Education unanimously approved the amendment banning critical race theory. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who appointed much of the board, spoke ahead of the meeting, saying critical race theory would teach children “the country is rotten and that our institutions are illegitimate.”
“That is not worth any taxpayer dollars,” he said.
In a statement posted to Twitter, DeSantis said the amendment protects students from being “indoctrinated to think a certain way,” mirroring language used by other states and locales that have made similar moves.
Critical race theory has become politicized in recent months, with opponents arguing the area of study is based on Marxism and is a threat to the American way of life. But critical race theory, according to scholars who study it, explores the ways in which a history of inequality and racism in the United States has continued to impact American society today.
“It’s an approach to grappling with a history of White supremacy that rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it,” Kimberlé Crenshaw, a founding critical race theorist and a law professor at UCLA and Columbia University, told CNN last year.
And yet, across the country, local boards of education and states are pushing against teaching the impact of systemic racism and critical race theory in schools, calling it indoctrination.
Tennessee has banned teaching it, too.