TALLAHASSEE, FL – On Thursday, the Florida Board of Education approved a rule introduced by Governor Ron DeSantis that would effectively ban critical race theory instruction in schools throughout the state, reports say.
Critical race theory is an academic concept that asserts that racism is a social construct, and that it is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.
DeSantis’ rule regarding critical race theory reads as follows:
“Instruction on the required topics must be factual and objective and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”
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DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw explained the reason behind the new rule that has been adopted by the Florida BOE, saying that no child should be classified as a “victim” or “oppressor” based on their race or ethnicity.
“Race essentialism in any form is destructive, especially in a diverse society where each person should be judged only by the content of their character, not the color of their skin,” she said.
One especially controversial aspect of critical race theory in schools is the so-called “1619 Project,” which purports that the United States was founded on slavery, and that subsequent white supremacy and institutionalized racism in American society has carried on to the modern day as a result.
Critical race theory is currently a hot-button topic of debate between schools and communities across the United States, with conservatives and liberals in sharp disagreement. Is CRT a way of understanding how racism has shaped public policy, or merely a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people while driving everyone further apart?