Labor union falsely claims Florida anti-CRT bill would ban teaching on slavery, Holocaust

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FIRST ON FOX: A Miami-Dade chapter of the AFSCME, the country’s largest trade union for public employees, is falsely claiming a new bill passed by the Florida legislature prohibits the teaching of slavery and the Holocaust in public schools.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign into law the “Stop WOKE Act” after its framework passed the state Senate last week. The bill takes aim at Critical Race Theory (CRT) and prohibits workplaces and schools from providing training or instruction claiming that “members of one race, color, sex, or national origin are morally superior to members of another race, color, sex, or national origins” or that people are “inherently racist” or “privileged” based on those qualities.

DESANTIS SAYS CRITICS OF FLORIDA’S PARENTAL RIGHTS BILL ‘NEED TO GET OUT OF THEIR BUBBLE’

The bill also makes it illegal to subject students or employees to training or instruction claiming that a “person, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the person played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin, or sex.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the 2022 CPAC conference Feb. 24, 2022, at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the 2022 CPAC conference Feb. 24, 2022, at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida.
(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

A mailer sent by AFSCME Local 199 to residents of Miami-Dade County claims that the bill “will prevent our children from learning the most important parts of American history.”

“They’re trying to erase history,” the mailer reads. “The Florida legislature is fast-tracking legislation that would limit teaching of American history in Florida classrooms. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. We cannot let Tallahassee prevent our students from learning about the Holocaust, Black enslavement, human rights abuses in Cuba, and other tragedies.”

“This is a big moment and history will remember those who chose individual freedoms over government reach,” chapter president CeeCee Brown is quoted as saying on the mailer.

DeSantis, however, signed a bill in June 2020 that required public schools to certify that they teach about the Holocaust and the “systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany” as well as provide lessons on anti-Semitism history and prevention.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks about the firefighting effort and available assistance for Bay County during a press conference in Panama City, Florida, on March 6, 2022.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks about the firefighting effort and available assistance for Bay County during a press conference in Panama City, Florida, on March 6, 2022.
(Michael Snyder-USA TODAY NETWORK)

In June 2021, DeSantis signed into law a bill requiring that high school classes on U.S. government include a “comparative discussion of political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism,” like that found under the Castro regime in Cuba.

Florida law also requires the instruction of “the history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the history and contributions of African Americans of the African diaspora to society.”

The already existing laws requiring lessons on the Holocaust and slavery are reiterated in the bill passed by the Florida legislature last week.

AFSCME Local 199 and its president did not respond to Fox News Digital’s inquiries on why they’re claiming those subjects would be banned.

Opponents of Critical Race Theory attend a packed Loudoun County School board meeting until the meeting erupted into chaos and two people were detained, in Ashburn, Virginia, June 22, 2021.

Opponents of Critical Race Theory attend a packed Loudoun County School board meeting until the meeting erupted into chaos and two people were detained, in Ashburn, Virginia, June 22, 2021.
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo)

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“The Left resorts to outright lies to push their divisive agenda on critical race theory, because they know the facts are not on their side,” DeSantis’ office said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital. “Regardless of party or background, Floridians believe that individuals should be judged by their character – not their skin color, gender, or other innate characteristics. 

“Florida banned CRT in K-12 schools last year, because race essentialism has no place in our classrooms,” it continues. “Ahead of this year’s legislative session, Governor DeSantis proposed the Stop WOKE Act to strengthen protections for K-12 students – as well as university students and employees of ‘woke’ corporations. Nobody should ever be forced to engage with discriminatory content to get a degree, keep a job, or advance in his or her career.”

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