Add Florida State Colleges to the growing list of higher education institutes standing up to DEI discrimination and race-based exclusion.
On January 17, 2024, the State Board of Education implemented strict regulations to its 28 public community colleges and state colleges in the Florida College System (FCS), prohibiting DEI programs, activities, or policies that categorize individuals based on race or sex for the purpose of differential or preferential treatment.
“Florida remains committed to providing our students with a world-class education rooted in the pursuit of truth, rather than biased indoctrination,” a statement by the Department of Education said. This stance is the reason the state’s higher education system has ranked #1 in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report for seven consecutive years.
The new rule (6A-14.0718), officially implements within the Florida College System, the bill that Governor DeSantis signed into law last May (SB 266), prohibiting colleges, universities and medical schools using public funds to administer Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs and policies.
“If you look at the way this has actually been implemented across the country, DEI is better viewed as standing for discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination,” DeSantis said during a news conference at New College of Florida in Sarasota. “And that has no place in our public institutions.”
These Institutions are already subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color or national origin, however DEI programs across the nation are commonly promoting current discrimination as a solution for past discrimination, in defiance of the spirit of Title VI.
Florida’s State Board of Education also nixed the course “Principles of Sociology,” a class exposing students to radical woke ideologies. In its place will be a comprehensive general education core course in American History aiming to provide students with an accurate and factual account of the nation’s past.
“Higher education must return to its essential foundations of academic integrity and the pursuit of knowledge instead of being corrupted by destructive ideologies,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “These actions today ensure that we will not spend taxpayers’ money supporting DEI and radical indoctrination that promotes division in our society.”
Ben Sasse, President of University of Florida, recently spoke about the broader problem of woke culture at higher institutions. “The culture of ideological conformity and monoculture at those schools is unhealthy not just for them but for the nation at large,” said Sasse, who added that the University of Florida’s would discipline students if they called for the genocide of Jewish people — violating the university’s bullying and harassment policy. While the University of Florida is part of the State University System and not the Florida College System, Sasse echoes the thoughts of many who see DEI systems in higher education trying to implement ideological homogeneity instead of true diversity.
That’s good advice in the wake of the January 20 filing of a federal civil rights complaint regarding UF-Jacksonville’s Health Care Excellence and Organizational Enrichment Women in Medicine and Science Awards. The complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Right by senior fellow Mark Perry, outlines discrimination based on sex or gender identity in four of the programs.
The Florida State College System and the State Board of Education deserve praise for adopting the rule and making “No DEI Spending” officially part of the written rulebook for the first time.
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