DeSantis Vows to Oppose Republican School Board Members Who Support Critical Race Theory

June 7, 2021 Updated: June 7, 2021

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the weekend vowed to turn the Republican political apparatus of his state against school board candidates who support teaching Critical Race Theory.

“We’re not going to support any Republican candidate for school board who supports Critical Race Theory in all 67 counties or who supports mandatory masking of schoolchildren,” DeSantis told Fox News host Dan Bongino.

Critical Race Theory is an ideology rooted in Marxist theory of class struggle, but with a focus on race. It sees American society through the lens of racial struggle and seeks to dismantle all aspects of society that are deemed inherently racist.

“Local elections matter. We are going to get the Florida political apparatus involved so we can make sure there’s not a single school board member who supports Critical Race Theory,” DeSantis added.

The governor’s comments come as the State Board of Education is scheduled to meet on June 10 and weigh a proposal that would ban teaching the founding of the United States as anything “other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.” It would also require teachers to not “share their personal views or attempt to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.”

If passed, the proposed education rule would make Florida one of the handful of states that prohibit the teaching of the New York Times’s 1619 Project, which portrays the United States as an inherently racist nation founded on slavery. The Pulitzer Prize-winning project consists of a collection of essays that argue, among many other controversial claims, that the primary reason for the American Revolution was to preserve slavery, and that slavery was the primary driver of American capitalism during the 19th century.

“Next week, I have my Commissioner of Education going to the Board of Education, banning any departure from accurate history and following our standards,” DeSantis told Bongino. “This is something we’ve got to stay on the forefront of.”

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, who proposed the rule, calls the effort to push back against indoctrination in public school classrooms a “constant, vigilant fight.”

“We’re passing a rule this coming month that says, for the 185,000 teachers, you can’t indoctrinate students on stuff that’s not based on our standards,” Corcoran said at a May 14 event on the Hillsdale, Michigan, campus of Hillsdale College. “But you have to police them on a daily basis. It’s 185,000 teachers in a classroom with anywhere from 18 to 25 kids.”