Gov. Ron DeSantis paid a visit to Pasco County for a press conference on Tuesday to discuss teacher recruitment efforts. He spoke about Florida’s new curriculum and efforts to keep indoctrination and ideology out of the state’s schools while in New Port Richey, and he resisted medical board efforts to include gender dysphoria care for minors.
“Florida is the place where woke goes to die” -says Governor Ron DeSantis
During the press conference, DeSantis discussed reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, not forcing students to be vaccinated, and the state’s position that pandemic lockdown efforts should be based on science and data rather than political ideology and partisan strategies.
He claimed that cities such as Washington, D.C. had maintained vaccination requirements at the expense of excluding children from school due to “a mandate that has no basis in science or fact.” Lockdown policies, according to the governor, disproportionately affect low-income students.
Following that, the governor took questions from the audience. DeSantis was asked about a reported effort to recruit teachers from other countries to address the current teacher shortage during the question and answer session.
“Obviously in the classroom we’ve battled a lot of ideologies. What I’ve said is the state of Florida is the place where woke goes to die. We are not going to let this state descend into some type of woke dumpster fire. We’re going to be following common sense, we’re going to be following facts,” DeSantis said.
The Florida governor signed HB 1557, the Parental Rights in Education Act, earlier this year, which prohibited sexual orientation and gender identity instruction in all schools of Florida from kindergarten to third grade.
What is the Parental Rights Education Act?
The Parental Rights in Education Act has drawn widespread criticism from critics who claim that it marginalizes LGBTQ people.
Supporters of the legislation argued that it is intended to allow parents to decide when and how to introduce LGBTQ topics to their children. It also allows parents to sue a school district if the policy is broken.
The bill has put Florida and DeSantis, a rising GOP star and potential presidential candidate in 2024, to the forefront of the country’s culture wars, with LGBTQ advocates, students, Democrats, the entertainment industry, and the White House all condemning what they call a “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
During a press conference before signing the bill, DeSantis said it was “inappropriate” to teach kindergarten-aged children that “they can be whatever they want to be.” He said, “It’s not something that’s appropriate for any place, but especially not in Florida.”
Every student deserves to feel safe and welcome in the classroom. Our LGBTQI+ youth deserve to be affirmed and accepted just as they are. My Administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family — in Florida and around the country.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 28, 2022
Joe Biden hit back, saying that: “Our LGBTQI+ youth deserve to be affirmed and accepted just as they are.”
President Biden’s full tweeted statement read: “Every student deserves to feel safe and welcome in the classroom. Our LGBTQI+ youth deserve to be affirmed and accepted just as they are. My administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family — in Florida and around the country.”