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Florida Bans 'Critical Race Theory' From Classrooms

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CBS4's Karli Barnett reports on Gov. Ron DeSantis' message to the Florida's Board of Education. Read more: https://cbsloc.al/3g8WgdW

Video Transcript

- Now at 5:00, Governor Ron DeSantis says he is banning the teaching of critical race theory in all Florida schools. The governor spoke to the board about the rule that he says is meant to keep from indoctrinating students.

- All in favor say aye. Aye.

- Aye.

- Aye.

- Aye.

- Aye.

- Opposed, nay. Motion carries.

- In a unanimous vote Thursday, the state Board of Education approved a rule that could shape how history is taught in Florida public schools.

RON DESANTIS: We have to do history that is factual. And if you look at things that have grown out of critical race theory, it's much more about trying to craft narratives about history that are not grounded in facts.

- Speaking over video chat, Governor Ron DeSantis made his case in support of the rule and against critical race theory.

RON DESANTIS: There's really outrageous things going on about what they're doing by basically using critical race theory to bring ideology and political activism as to the forefront of education. That is not what we need to be doing in Florida. We need to be educating people, not trying to indoctrinate them with ideology.

- According to Education Week, an education news resource, it's an academic concept that's been around for nearly four decades which basically says racism is embedded in legal systems, institutions, and policies. An example would be redlining districts. Critics like DeSantis argue that critical race theory further divides people.

STANLEY SCOTT: Y'all sit here. And y'all are like this is not happening. But it is. It'll continue to happen, especially to the African-American community.

- Dozens gave public comment, including some who were against the rule and others like a Miami-Dade school teacher who were in favor of its passage.

MARIA PIRO: Unless you pass this rule, the leftist radical school board members who just want to teach critical race theory to our children, who want to indoctrinate them, they will find a way. They will find a back door to be able to teach this.

- While critical race theory is not laid out as part of Florida curriculum, DeSantis argues language taught in some schools falls in line with its teachings, referencing Palm Beach counties new value statement that reads in part, "The school district of Palm Beach County is committed to dismantling structures rooted in white advantage and transforming our system by hearing and elevating underrepresented voices." Miami-Dade schools issued a statement that reads in part, "We understand the value in learning about the struggles and sacrifices that have been made in this country throughout our nation's history and confirm that within the existing history standards. Such instruction is expected and appropriate. In addition, there is school board policy in Miami-Dade that protects against any type of bias teaching of any subject."

Now the newly implemented rule says teachers may not share their personal views or attempt to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view that is inconsistent with state standards and mentioned critical race theory specifically. Broward County Schools also issued a statement saying that they have never taught critical race theory. At least 16 different states are considering or have already signed into law bills that would limit how schools frame American history.