FORT MYERS, Fla. — $106 million, that's how much money Governor Ron DeSantis says it will take to make Florida the national leader in civics education with the new Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative.
However, the governor says, teaching Critical Race Theory will not be apart of it.
“Let me be clear, there is no room in our classrooms for things like Critical Race Theory teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money,” said Governor Ron DeSantis, in a press conference Wednesday while visiting Naples, Florida.
Jennifer Sughrue, a Professor of Educational Leadership at Florida Gulf Coast University, says Critical Race Theory does not teach hate.
“It’s teaching people how to understand and make better choices and treat everybody as equal under the law. Critical Race Theory posits that laws and policies are racially biased, they are grounded in racism, and it’s from the perspective that those who are in power, will perpetuate the status quo by creating laws that keep them in power,” said Jennifer Sughrue.
Sughrue says getting rid of it in the classroom will not allow students to think critically about how our society functions.
“My concern is it doesn’t allow them that opportunity to understand how to question the impact and how it could be better crafted so that more people benefit or are treated equally under the law,” said Sughrue.
However Lodovic Kimble, a retired psychology professor and civil rights activist here in Southwest Florida says in the wake of the social and racial injustice we saw in 2020, but also the current attack on Asian Americans, we need this type of education in the classroom.
“We need this education for people to understand what the problem is and how to bring about change. If we don’t do race-based education then racism becomes even far worse in this country instead of better. We have to learn about our past in order to move forward, if you don’t know where you’ve been, you sure won’t know where you are going,” said Lodovic Kimble.