Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

DeSantis Unveils ‘Stop W.O.K.E. Act’ So Parents Can Sue Over Critical Race Theory In Schools

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a new legislative proposal Wednesday that would let parents sue if their kids are taught critical race theory in public school, after the Florida State Board of Education voted over the summer to ban lessons on the topic.

DeSantis unveiled the proposal, called the “Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act,” or “Stop W.O.K.E. Act,” at a news briefing Wednesday morning that had an atmosphere similar to a campaign rally.

The governor appeared behind a podium emblazoned with a sign saying “STOP WOKE ACT” and was flanked by cheering supporters holding signs in support of the legislation.

The state education board voted unanimously in June to ban critical race theory and teaching based around the 1619 Project, which reviews American history with slavery as the central narrative.

DeSantis said Wednesday the Stop Woke Act would serve as an enforcement measure for the ban, since parents would be able to hold schools accountable for choosing to teach critical race theory despite the prohibition.

“You think about what MLK stood for—he said he didn’t want people judged on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character. You listen to some of these people nowadays, they don’t talk about that,” DeSantis said, quoting civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. to criticize critical race theory. His choice to quote MLK led to backlash on social media.

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