DeSantis Bans DEI Training in Teacher Preparation Classes

DeSantis Bans DEI Training in Teacher Preparation Classes

DeSantis signed a controversial bill banning diversity and inclusivity teachings in educator prep classes

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
May 2, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Governor Ron DeSantis signed Thursday morning a controversial bill that he says will ban diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives from being taught in educator prep courses.

"We don't want these teacher prep programs to become captive to someone's ideological agenda," DeSantis said at a Jacksonville press conference. "We can say no diversity, equity, or inclusion (DEI) or critical race theory in the classroom, but if you're preparing teachers with that rubric, that's what you're going to end up getting."

DeSantis said that the new law, HB 1291, will prohibit the "indoctrination" of Florida's teachers, insisting there will not be "any bogus history" being instructed in these preparation courses.

The law, which bans theories of social, political, and economic inequity in prep classes, builds off of a 2023 law removing DEI initiatives from Florida schools and a now-blocked 2022 law entitled the "Stop WOKE Act" which prohibited business and teaching practices from contending any group could be inherently racist and allowed teachers to opt out of training DeSantis said taught ideas like "all white people are bad".

"The courts incredibly said that that's their First Amendment right to do that training on you," DeSantis said, referencing the court blocking his law just two months after it was signed. "It's our view that current Florida civil rights law prohibits some of this racist training that is being done and imposed under the rubric of DEI."

Critics of the Governor's war on DEI warn of a "chilling" effect on teachers' speech and a well-rounded view of past historical events.

"I disagree with the premise that learning about white privilege, learning about systemic racism, learning about diversity is problematic," Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky said during the session.

During his Thursday press conference, DeSantis also signed HB 989 into law, which targets environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives among financial institutions, and aims to protect groups against "discrimination" based on their viewpoints from various banking institutions.

Additionally, the bill also amends Florida law to allow credit unions to hold up to 7 percent of all funds in the state treasury and 7 percent of all public deposits of any state university or community college. Previously, credit unions have not been permitted to hold public deposits.

"This will incentivize good behavior and good competition," the Governor said.


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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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