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Senator Perry co-sponsors bill to prohibit “divisive” training and curriculum

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

State Senator Keith Perry announced yesterday that he has co-sponsored SB 242, which was proposed by Senator Joe Gruters. Perry is currently the only co-sponsor of the bill. Perry said, “This bill ensures that divisive curriculum is not taught within the Florida school system. Our schools should cultivate an environment of inclusivity and equality.”

The bill applies to state agencies, counties, municipalities, businesses that contract with state agencies, and Florida’s K-20 public education system. The specifics vary based on the applicable entities, but it mainly prohibits trainings based on “race or sex scapegoating,” “race or sex stereotyping,” or the following “divisive concepts”:

  • One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
  • The United States is fundamentally racist or sexist.
  • An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
  • An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
  • An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.
  • Meritocracy or traits, such as a hard work ethic, are racist or sexist or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.

The bill requires a review of all employee training programs relating to diversity and inclusion.

The bill specifically does not prohibit “promoting racial, cultural, ethnic, or intellectual diversity or inclusiveness, so long as such efforts do not conflict with [these] requirements.” Counties, municipalities, and K-20 educational institutions “may provide training, workshops, or similar programming that fosters a workplace environment that is respectful of all employees.” Additionally, it does not prohibit “the use of curriculum that teaches the topics of sexism, slavery, racial oppression, racial segregation, or racial discrimination, including topics relating to the enactment and enforcement of laws resulting in sexism, racial oppression, segregation, or discrimination” in schools.

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