TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida bill banning the teaching of critical race theory and related topics in both schools and private workplaces is heading for a final vote in the Florida legislature.
State senators debated a half-dozen amendments on Wednesday, all of which were filed by Democrats.
Changes proposed by the amendments included: adding gender identity and sexual identity to those protected against discrimination, leaving the term “ethnicity” in the affected statute instead of changing to “color,” leaving health education instruction on “mental and emotional health” instead of removing it, and adding “LGBTQ+” to the list of racial, ethnic and religious topics for “celebrating diversity” rather than just “tolerance.”
All of the amendments failed. The bill passed the Florida House last month.
HB 7 states it constitutes discrimination to subject any student or employee — or any individual “as a condition of employment, membership, certification, licensing, credentialing, or passing an examination” —to any training or instruction that “espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual to believe any of the following concepts”:
- Members of one race, color, sex, or national origin are morally superior to members of another
- An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously
- An individual’s moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, sex, or national origin
- People cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race, color, sex, or national origin
- An individual bears 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
- An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion
- An individual bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the individual played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, sex, or national origin
- Such virtues as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness, neutrality, objectivity, and racial colorblindness are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race, color, sex, or national origin to oppress members of another
The bill includes language stating none of the above topics are prohibited “as part of a larger course of training or instruction, provided such training or instruction is given in an objective manner without endorsement of the concepts.”
As written, the bill does not mention the words critical race theory, but the topics contained therein reference some of its teachings.