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A DeSantis Presidency Would Destroy Public Schools

A DeSantis Presidency Would Destroy Public Schools
Michael Scott Milner / Shutterstock

Education groups are warning against electing Ron DeSantis, saying his "authoritarian" policies would destroy public schools.

After announcing his bid for the presidency, education groups are warning against electing Ron DeSantis, saying his "authoritarian" policies would destroy public schools.

“Gov. DeSantis’ policies have been counter to core American principles,” Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association, told the Tallahassee Democrat. “He has attacked free thought in Florida’s preK-12 schools, colleges and universities with laws that limit instruction and safe learning environments for students.”

DeSantis filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday to run for president in 2024, announcing his campaign in a disastrous discussion with Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces. The audio continuously cut out or echoed during the livestream, and even crashed at multiple points throughout the announcement.

DeSantis' education policies are just as harrowing as his campaign launch, according to Spar, who issued his statements in direct response to DeSantis' recent crackdowns on education, which has restricted topics involving racism and LGBTQ+ identities.

His "Stop WOKE Act" restricts how race is discussed in schools and workplaces, and the colloquially named "Don't Say Gay" law prohibits the discussion of LGBTQ+ identities in grades K-12. Florida state policies now require books in schools to be approved by a state trained media specialist.

The DeSantis administration also recently blocked a nationally taught AP African American History class for having a "political agenda," as well as banned at the college level diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and gender studies classes.

Earlier this week, the NAACP also issued a travel advisory for Black people visiting Florida, warning that the state has become "hostile to Black Americans." The Human Rights Campaign also issued a travel warning for LGBTQ+ people visiting the state.

“His authoritarian approach to governing schools from the governor’s office through actions against school board members and superintendents has created a system of fear that shortchanges student learning,” Spar continued. “A DeSantis presidency would likely take those divisive policies to a national level, destroying the very fabric of our country, a strong system of high-quality public schools."

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