TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Education continues to be a hot topic in Florida as thousands of students walked out of their classrooms in protest across the state over recent curriculum policies.
From the University of Florida to Florida International University and in Tampa at the University of South Florida, students and educators walked out of their classrooms Thursday afternoon protesting what they say are attacks on black history and transgender students.
“As a black, queer, trans person, the governor is trying to pass laws to make my existence illegal,” said USF student Jay James.
“Diversity is under attack, stand up, fight back,” the crowd chanted.
The students are protesting recent state legislation impacting Florida education, specifically revolving around African American history and the LGBTQ community discussions.
“A lot of faculty are living in fear right now because of what Ron DeSantis is doing,” USF associate professor Christina Richards said. “A lot of faculty can’t take action because they could actually loose their jobs.”
Some professors ended their classes early, others came when they had free time to take part in the protest—standing in solidarity with students like Elijah Keila who says the fight doesn’t end here.
“Now that our rights and freedoms are being infringed upon, we’re not going to settle for how things were four months ago,” Keila said. “Everything the state is doing to hamper education, we are going to bring back tenfold.”