A month after Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won a resounding reelection victory and declared that the state is “where woke goes to die,” the state’s second-largest school system signed a contract with an infamous peddler of “woke” partisanship to children.
On December 13, the Broward County School Board approved a contract with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The contract, managed by the school district’s Department of Diversity and School Climate, expands an existing program — already present in 70 of its schools — called “No Place for Hate,” which proclaims: “Move On From Kindness. Schools Need to Foster Social Justice.”
The move calls for training “select student leaders” of No Place For Hate under ADL’s “A World of Difference” program (which the school board misspells as a “Word of Difference”). The contract says that ADL will cover the cost of the training.
A document for “A World of Difference” calls for preschoolers to “learn to take a stand.” No Place for Hate’s Coordinator Handbook & Resource Guide 2020-2021 calls to “get them involved in action, advocacy and/or activism … in order to affect systemic change, students need to analyze and challenge the opportunity/achievement gap, school funding inequities and the school-to-prison pipeline.”
“People of color and/or those who are members of marginalized groups may want to share real and sometimes harsh testimony about their experiences… They may want to caucus with others in their same identity group in order to feel safe. Or, they may feel that being able to challenge others’ bias is what is necessary to build empathy,” it continues. “Different perspectives may be attributed to whether one is part of a marginalized or majority group in school or society.”
“If you know students’ correct pronouns and names, use them in class and do not rely on ‘official’ or roster information,” it adds.
No Place for Hate’s website lists as a “resource” ADL lesson plans — free and pre-assembled, attracting teachers who want to save the work of creating their own plans — which push naked partisanship on children. One, titled “Georgia’s Restrictive Voting Law,” states that “In March 2021, the Georgia State Legislature passed a major law (SB 202) that restricts and suppresses voting across the state.” It encourages students to “plan actions they can take to influence powerful entities to take a stand about social justice issues.”
Another, titled “Power and Privilege,” says that “Students will examine the various levels of racial disparities in the criminal justice system and explore the role white privilege plays.” A third lesson suggests that everyone could be racist, saying “people discriminate based on factors they’re not even aware of, implicit biases.”
A Broward schools spokesperson told The Daily Wire that because of schools’ winter break, she could not immediately provide curriculum materials or answer questions.
Last year, DeSantis signed the Individual Freedom Act banning one-sided activism and critical race theory in schools. (A judge later halted enforcement at the college level.)
The law prohibited subjecting “any student or employee to training or instruction that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such student or employee to believe” that “a person, by virtual of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive,” or that “a person, by virtual of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, bears responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress.”
The Broward contract summary analyzes the impact of other Florida statutes on the contract and pledges to evaluate the arrangement annually to ensure compliance with one law, but makes no mention of the IFA. The Florida Department of Education did not immediately return a request for comment.
Max Eden, an education scholar with the American Enterprise Institute and co-author of “Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students,” said the Broward district has long preached progressivism to students and that in the wake of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, mobilized children against the Second Amendment.
“Broward County has a storied history of pushing students to become social justice activists. It’s an utterly inappropriate role for schools to play, especially when so many students are struggling with reading, math, and spelling,” he told The Daily Wire.
“DeSantis has done an admirable job on K-12 education, but part of the solution must be further review and scrutiny of district partnerships with woke NGOs. It’s certainly an area that DeSantis could lead the nation on during the next legislative session,” he added.
In August, DeSantis took bold action against Broward school officials, suspending four school board members after a grand jury tasked with investigating school safety found a “neglect of duty and incompetence.” In April 2021, former Superintendent Robert Runcie was arrested on perjury charges.