The legislation was passed by lawmakers in January. It prohibits instruction that members of one race are automatically racist and should feel guilty for past actions by other races. It also prohibits the idea that meritocracy or discrimination are acceptable in order to achieve diversity.
DeSantis stated that "We believe education is better than indoctrination" during Friday's South Florida bill signing.
DeSantis stated that Florida students won't be subject to oppressive ideologies. The bill provides "substantive safeguards" for students in grades K-12. DeSantis stated that "pernicious ideologies will not be permitted."
DeSantis stated, "We won't use your tax dollars for teaching our children to hate this country or to hate each other."
Opponents claim that DeSantis isn't clear on what critical race theory means, and they argue that his motivations are to suppress accurate Black history.
"It's only illustrating Gov. DeSantis's pattern of Black attack policies enacted by Republican legislators. He has turned a culture war on a traditional Republican battlefield, the public schools. It will hurt our children's tomorrows," said Angie Nixon, a Democratic Representative from Black. "CRT is not taught here in public schools in K-12 education."
DeSantis' emphasis on culture war issuesinvolving gender and race has made him a popular Republican politician and likely 2024 presidential candidate.
Critical Race Theory is based on the belief that racism is a systemic problem in U.S. institutions, and that these institutions function to perpetuate the dominance of white people within society. Although some of its ideas have been included in teaching materials, there is not much evidence that critical-race theory is being taught to students in K-12 public schools.
Florida's black lawmakers have stated that they fear the legislation will chill African American history education. Teachers will be threatened with lawsuits if parents don't approve of how subjects such as slavery, segregation and racism are presented to students.
"The governor is on a bogeyman tour to issues that aren't issues," said Democratic Senator Shevrin, a Black, in an interview. "The Republicans continue to cloak themselves as freedom, but clearly choose and select which freedoms they support and for whom. They don't support Black freedoms.
The new law expands language in state law to require classroom instruction on "the implications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on individual liberties", as well as studying the history of slavery and segregation, as well as contributions of Blacks in U.S. History. However, such material cannot be used to "indoctrinate and persuade students towards a particular view" that is not allowed by law.
"What are you supposed to do? Let these ideologies take over our entire education system?" DeSantis asked at a campaign-style event Friday to endorse the bill in Hialeah, South Florida. The crowd replied, "Noooo."
"This ideology was taking root in a lot elite institutions, such as the media, corporate America and the bureaucracy. It also affects the education establishment. DeSantis stated that most Americans do not want to have anything to do "with this stuff."