Following hours of debate and public comment on Thursday, the Florida State Board of Education unanimously voted to approve the amendment which bans critical race theory in the state, CNN reported. According to the amendment, educators are now prohibited from suggesting that "racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons."
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been leading the effort to ban the subject in Florida schools, said critical race theory aims to teach children that "the country is rotten and that our institutions are illegitimate."
"That is not worth any taxpayer dollars," the Republican governor said.
As Blavity previously reported, the latest amendment in Florida is part of a nationwide effort to prevent students from learning about racial equality. Earlier this year, Republican lawmakers in Arkansas, Iowa and Mississippi, aimed to pass similar bills. Former President Donald Trump fueled the movement last year when he introduced the "1776 Commission," a baseless research which makes arguments against critical race theory.
As part of their effort to ban the subject, Republicans have been aiming to prohibit schools from using the Pulitzer Prize-winning "1619 Project," a study published by The New York Times to shed light on the reality of American slavery.
The latest bill in Florida specifically bans "The 1619 Project," causing more outrage among the dozens of educators and activists who attended the The Florida Board of Education meeting in Jacksonville on Thursday.
Justin Katz, president of Palm Beach County’s teachers union, said the vote “treads dangerously close to restricting the instruction of objective facts.”
“I do fear that the politicization of critical race theory is being used to snuff out any and all conversations about equity, race and racism in our schools,” Katz said, according to USA TODAY. "Educating our students with objective historical facts is literally the purpose of the existing state standards across a variety of content areas."
Despite the vote, some educators said they will not change what they teach in the classroom.
"Duval County Public Schools continues to build on a strong tradition of teaching American history," said Tracy Pierce, a spokesperson with Duval County Public Schools. "We also offer African American history both as an independent course elective at the high school level and as an important topic integrated through other curriculum including social studies, English language arts, and courses across grade levels."