A bill designed to carry out Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to prohibit teaching critical race theory in schools and bar employers from conducting training that involves various race-related concepts will go before a Senate committee Tuesday. The measure (SB 148), which was filed this week by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, will be considered by the Senate Education Committee. The proposal appears on a legislative fast track. If it is approved by the Education Committee, it would only need a green light from the Rules Committee before consideration by the full Senate. In part, the bill seeks to prohibit employers from subjecting “any individual, as a condition of employment, membership, certification, licensing, credentialing or passing an examination, to training, instruction, or any other required activity” that is centered on a number of race-related concepts. For instance, employee training sessions would be prohibited from including teaching that a person’s “moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, sex or national origin.” Employers also would not be allowed to conduct training that “compels” people to believe that they bear “responsibility for, or should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of, actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, sex or national origin.” A section of the bill dealing with school curriculums would allow teachers to facilitate discussions “in an age-appropriate manner” about topics like sexism, slavery and racial oppression and segregation. “However, classroom instruction and curriculum may not be used to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view inconsistent with the principles of this subsection (of law) or state academic standards,” the bill said. DeSantis last month teased a legislative proposal that he called the “Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees Act,” or Stop W.O.K.E. Act. “It violates Florida standards to scapegoat someone based on their race, to say that they’re inherently racist, to say that they’re an oppressor or oppressed or any of that,” DeSantis said during a Dec. 15 news conference about the proposal in Wildwood. A similar House bill (HB 7) also was filed this week.

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