TALLAHASHEE — College professors and students are appealing to a federal appeals court to uphold a 2022 Florida law that limits how race-related concepts are taught in the classroom. The law is what Governor Ron DeSantis has dubbed the “Stop Walk Act.” “
On Friday, attorneys for the two plaintiffs filed a brief stating that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals should uphold a preliminary injunction issued against the Act in November by Chief District Judge Mark Walker. claimed. Plaintiffs allege that the law violates some of their rights of speech and academic freedom.
One memorandum filed on behalf of six faculty members at the University of Florida Florida A&M University said, “Since the anti-communist policies of the McCarthy era, the state legislature has so directly interfered with the academic freedom of university faculty. never,” he said. University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, and Florida State University. “Like Florida today, the Supreme Court formulated First Amendment doctrines of academic freedom at a time when Congress was trying to suppress opinions against them.”
But in an April brief filed with the Atlanta-based appeals court, the state’s attorneys said the Walker ruling was “free under the First Amendment to indoctrinate college students with any views.” This ruling should be overturned, as it is possible to anoint individual professors as a university.” No matter how much it goes against the college curriculum or how harmful it is to the people of Florida, they will be happy. “
“The constitutional question in this case is, namely, who decides what is and is not taught in the classrooms of colleges and universities in Florida, whether individual professors or their state employers determine whether content requirements and The standards will be set by law.” When public universities set course curricula? state attorney writes.
DeSantis made the law a priority, naming it the “Stopping Children and Employees Act” or “Stop WOKE Act.”
The law lists a set of race-related concepts and states that it constitutes discrimination if a student receives instruction that “supports, promotes, facilitates, is indoctrinated or enforces” those concepts. .
As an example, the Act states that students “should be responsible for, or be discriminated against or treated unfavorably for, acts committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, or nationality.” If they are led to believe that there is, they regard the instruction as discriminatory. origin or gender. “
As another example, the law states that students should be given “a sense of guilt, distress, or any other form of psyche for acts committed in the past by other members of the same race in which they played no role.” We are trying to ban guidance that would cause physical distress. Skin color, country of origin, gender. “
In the event of legal violations, universities can lose what is called performance funding.
In an April brief seeking to revoke the injunction, state attorneys argued the law was intended to prevent “insidious discrimination” by university employees, challenging plaintiffs’ claims about academic freedom. objected.
“The ramifications of the district court’s ruling are horrific,” the state brief said. “The court reasoned that if a university allowed a history course within its ‘established curriculum’ to discuss World War II, then to that professor the Holocaust was a hoax and the Nazis were good. They have a First Amendment right to assert the view that they Or, if universities allow discussion of the Jim Crow era in their ‘established curricula’, the professor justified Jim Crow because whites are ‘better’ than blacks. It has the right of the First Amendment to the Constitution to instill that view. “
But other federal appeals courts have ruled, “The First Amendment is higher education,” according to a brief filed Friday by attorneys for University of South Florida professor Adriana Noboa and a member of the student group USF’s First Amendment Forum. It was held that it protects learning and education in
“Unable to point out otherwise, the state is crafting a scenario about Nazi sympathizers and racists,” the brief said. “But unlike the state’s imagined hypothesis, the Stop WOKE Act imposes real censorship. His remarks put millions of dollars in educational institutions’ budgets at risk.”
The 11th Circuit has not said if it will hold oral arguments on the matter.
The law also places restrictions on how race-related concepts are treated in on-the-job training. Walker issued an injunction in September against the on-the-job training portion of the law, and state appeals are still pending.