Apr 24, 2022

Gov. DeSantis holds news conference in South Florida 4/22/22 Transcript

Gov. DeSantis holds news conference in South Florida 4/22/22 Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsFloridaGov. DeSantis holds news conference in South Florida 4/22/22 Transcript

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at a charter school in Hialeah Gardens 4/22/22. Read the transcript here.


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Speaker 1: (00:03)
[crosstalk 00:00:03] keep smiling. So many people are taking pictures.

Speaker 2: (00:07)
I don’t know who anyone is.

Speaker 1: (00:08)
But I [crosstalk 00:00:11] their families.

Speaker 2: (00:12)
That’s true.

Speaker 1: (00:21)
[crosstalk 00:00:21].

Speaker 2: (00:21)
So Paige just texted me that she can hear me. How’s that’s possible? My friend just texted me that she can hear me.

Speaker 1: (00:29)
[crosstalk 00:00:29] at a bag of chips [crosstalk 00:00:33]. You should have told me [crosstalk 00:00:48]. Smile to my mom. You guys see my mom?

Speaker 2: (01:09)
Mm-hmm (affirmative). [crosstalk 00:01:15].

Speaker 1: (01:16)
There’s so many pictures of us.

Senator Wilton Simpson: (01:17)

Speaker 2: (01:24)
So many pictures [crosstalk 00:01:24]. I already thought that [inaudible 00:01:28] anxious [inaudible 00:01:29]. You know what I mean? [crosstalk 00:01:32].

Speaker 2: (01:24)
There’s a lot of cameras.

Speaker 1: (01:24)
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 2: (01:24)
Oh, my God.

Speaker 1: (01:51)
It’s a press conference. All these people are going to be asking questions. That’s probably what it is. There’s press sitting in the audience, everyone [inaudible 00:02:00]. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2: (02:01)
These people are going to ask questions.

Speaker 1: (02:02)
Most of the [crosstalk 00:02:04] audience. Probably.

Speaker 2: (02:06)
[crosstalk 00:02:06] maybe she’s [crosstalk 00:02:16].

Governor DeSantis: (02:18)
Holy cow. Great to see everybody. What a great crew. Thank you. Thank you. Great to be back in Hialeah Gardens. We’re so excited. We’ve got really an all-star cast with us here today, and we’ve got one major bill signing, but also a couple from some of the bills we just did recently. But I do want to recognize everybody that is in attendance with us here. Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez from of course Miami. The president of the Florida Senate, Wilton Simpson is here. One of the guys that’s really the architect of focusing attention on some of these pernicious ideologies is with us, Christopher Russo, from the Manhattan Institute.

Governor DeSantis: (03:15)
Our outgoing commissioner of education, Richard Cochran is here. Our secretary of the Florida Lottery, John Davis is with us today. He did play for Florida State back in the heyday against the U. I just want to be clear. It’s okay. We have our great Congressman Mario Diaz [inaudible 00:03:41] is here with us. Mr. T. Willard Faire from the Urban League of Greater Miami is with us here today. Thank you.

Governor DeSantis: (03:55)
Our next commissioner of education in Florida, Senator Manny Diaz is here. And we also have Senator Eliana Garcia is here Is Anna Maria here? Okay. Anna Maria, are you here? Is she here?

Speaker 3: (04:20)
I haven’t seen her.

Governor DeSantis: (04:20)
Okay. I don’t think Anna Maria’s here. I do know we have representatives Alex Rizzo, Representative Fabrisio, Barrero. Thank you.

Governor DeSantis: (04:34)
We also have parents. We have from Broward County, Christine Chaparro, who’s going to be saying a few words. Ali Leg from Hillsborough County is going to say a few words. We also have Keisha King from Duval County. Where is she at? Going to say a few words. We’re here today because we believe in education, not indoctrination.

Governor DeSantis: (05:08)
We believe an important component of freedom in the state of Florida is the freedom from having oppressive ideologies opposed upon you without your consent, whether it be in the classroom or whether it be in the workplace. And we decided to do something about it. So the bill that we’ll be signing here today provides substantive protections for both students and parents to ensure that the education they’re receiving Florida is consistent with the standards of the state of Florida. And those standards do not allow pernicious ideologies like Critical Race Theory to be taught in our K through 12 schools. We are not going to use your tax dollars to teach our kids to hate this country or to hate each other. We believe that every single student matters, every single student counts. We are not going to categorize you based on your race. We are not going to tell some kindergartner that they’re an oppressor based on their race and what may have happened 100 or 200 years ago. And we’re not going to tell other kids that they’re oppressed based on their race. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t succeed in this state. Everybody can succeed.

Governor DeSantis: (06:50)
And so, we believe in having that true solid education. I will point out because you actually will hear people lie about what we’re actually doing in the bill. And they’ll say they don’t want you to learn about history and all the key things. Just understand in the state of Florida, it is required in Florida statutes to teach about all segments of American history, where you have to teach about the Holocaust. You must teach about African American history. You teach about the institution and the abolition of slavery. You teach about the failure of the post-Civil war amendments to take hold and how you needed to fight for civil rights. We teach all of that because it’s real history and it’s important. But what we will not do is let people distort history to try to serve their current ideological goals.

Governor DeSantis: (07:51)
And we see this in examples like the New York Times’ 1619 Project, where they teach that the American Revolution was fought to defend slavery. When in reality, you can read the pamphlets. You can look at the Boston Tea Party. You can see what they were upset about because they told us. They wrote it down and they wrote a Declaration of Independence to fuel their fight for freedom. And so we have to be accurate and we cannot allow ideologues to try to distort what has happened in this country’s history. And so we will absolutely teach all aspects of history that are true. We will study, in particular, the contributions of women and Hispanics to Florida and to the United States.

Governor DeSantis: (08:49)
We will teach about civics, character. We will also have mental health education. This is all very, very important, and we are really on the cutting edge, but what we will not allow, what we will not allow is to be taught that members of one race, color, national origin, or sex are somehow morally superior. We are not going to allow teach that a person simply by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive. That’s wrong. We are going to make sure a person’s moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, national origin, or sex that is not allowed. That is wrong. And we are not going to teach that.

Governor DeSantis: (09:32)
We’re also not going to teach that virtues such as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness, neutrality, objectivity, and color blindness are somehow racist or sexist. They are not. Everybody can succeed. Everybody works hard. Everybody deserves fairness. And so we’re going to stand by that.

Governor DeSantis: (09:59)
If you look though, there’s a lot of focus understandably on the schools. And we have seen examples of this ideology in the schools. And another thing that people will say is there is no course called CRT in our K through 12 schools. And that is actually true that there are courses like that in law schools, which is really where it should stay. But what we are doing here is actually enumerating the principles of CRT being put into practice in a whole variety of subjects.

Governor DeSantis: (10:30)
So yes, we understand. That’s not just one course. It’s an overall worldview that many people are trying to inject into our kids’ education. And that is not a true education. That is indoctrination. So it’s a significant issue. And parents are going to be able to have recourse if the school districts are not following Florida standards, but we also understand the bill that we’re signing is called the Stop Woke Act. And the reason what it stands for, woke is Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees Act because unfortunately you’ve seen employees mostly working for major Fortune 500 companies that get subjected to this same type of ideology in the guys of workforce training. Coca-Cola, for example, had their employees be urged to be “less white” as part of the company’s diversity training. Google Employee Program claims that America’s a system of white supremacy, and that all Americans are raised to be racist.

Governor DeSantis: (11:31)
Walt Disney Corporation of course claimed that… Walt Disney Corporation claimed that America was founded on “systemic racism” and encouraged employees to complete a white privilege checklist. Under this law, that is a violation of your civil rights. And so we will have substantive protections, not just for students and parents, but also employees. And we’re proud of that. We also define in this bill individual freedom on the fundamental truth that all individuals are equal before the law and have inalienable rights and all school instruction, instructional materials, and professional development must be consistent with those core principles that this nation was founded upon. Now, as a contrast to Critical Race Theory, this bill requires the Department of education in the state of Florida to develop a stories of inspiration curriculum, to inspire students with stories from American history that embody the principles of freedom. It was interesting. I think Senator Garcia showed some partisan group was sending out flyers saying that because she voted for this, she didn’t want people to learn about George Washington. And I’m thinking to myself, like first of all, that’s not in here, but if our kids learn nothing but George Washington’s character, they could do a lot worse for an education. I mean, I’m just telling you.

Governor DeSantis: (13:10)
But we will have the stories of founding fathers like George Washington. You will see people like Frederick Douglas and see his journey, which is really a remarkable journey. You will see stories of people that stormed the beaches of Normandy to defend this country from Nazi tyranny. You will find stories of people who fought for this country against communism, both in Soviet Union. And unfortunately, just 90 miles off our coast in Communist Cuba.

Governor DeSantis: (13:46)
So freedom from indoctrination is a central tenant of what it means to be a free citizen in the free state of Florida. And we’re proud to take action. Some people say don’t get involved in this and what are we supposed to do? Just let these ideologies overtake our entire education system? We’re not going to do that. We are going to fight for what’s right. And we are going to make sure that everybody’s got a fair shot to realize their dreams and make the most of their God given talent. So I’m happy to be able to sign this here in a minute. But before we do that, we’re going to hear from folks who helped make this happen. And you can sit there and have all these great ideas as governor, but they don’t go very far most of the time, unless you have leaders in the legislature that share your vision.

Governor DeSantis: (14:32)
And when I talked about this and was able to discuss this with a president of the Senate, Wilton Simpson, a lot of people would probably have wanted to just stay away from it. Why worry about it? Obviously the media will lie about it. The left will lie about it, but Senator Simpson was 100% on board. He understood how important it was. And he was able to get this across the finish line, which is really a landmark piece of legislation. So Senator, come on up.

Senator Wilton Simpson: (15:06)
Thank you, governor. And obviously, the governor’s done a great job of explaining this bill. And one other thing I would mention and Senator Diaz had a big hand in this also was last year, we passed the largest parental choice bill in the history of the country. It’s a very, very good bill. We’ve heard examples of students and workers being pushed to adopt viewpoints of employers, teachers, textbook authors. It has to stop. Discrimination of any kind is wrong. People are not inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive. One race is not superior to any other race. All people are created equal and no school or workplace should force workers, students to believe otherwise. Florida’s workplaces and schools are areas where we can have healthy dialogues about race or diversity without losing sight that we are all unique individuals and we weren’t responsible-

Senator Wilton Simpson: (16:03)
We are all unique individuals and we weren’t responsible for the sins of the past. Florida students should be able to learn about factual history facts in an environment that recognizes all individuals are created equal, before the law, and have unalienable rights. This bill protects these individual freedoms, and prevents discrimination in public schools and the workplace while supporting factual education discussions for our students. And in the State of Florida, we have the best governor in the country making sure we’re doing this.

Governor DeSantis: (16:32)
Thank you very much.

Senator Wilton Simpson: (16:46)
And I just want to say, thank you for your leadership, Governor, all in the backdrop of a worldwide pandemic. And everybody should feel good about living in the free State of Florida. Thank you.

Governor DeSantis: (17:03)
Our next speaker… sometimes people get involved in kind of public issues. They’ll work for some of these think tanks and they can spend a whole career and not really make an impact. I mean, unfortunately that’s just the case. Some of these things, these groups in DC, it’s honestly more of a grift that they raise money they claim they’re going to do, and then they never do anything. And so, when you see folks that are in the policy space and the idea space, there’s a lot of people that have done that and not had very much success, but I think nobody was able to identify what was going on in these schools, in these businesses more than our next speaker, Christopher Rufo.

Governor DeSantis: (17:43)
And he went headstrong into it and he was able to raise awareness across the country about what was going on. And this, I think this woke ideology, to me, it’s cultural Marxism. I mean, if you look what they’re doing, they’re tearing down statues of Thomas Jefferson and Lincoln and taking George Washington’s name off schools. That is what they want to do. There’s a reason why they want to do it. They want to erase history and delegitimize our institutions and the founding of this country, and they want their woke ideology to be the foundational ideology of our country. This country would be destroyed if we ever let that happen.

Governor DeSantis: (18:21)
But I think what he has done, has obviously helped fuel what we’d done in Florida and other states. But the thing about it is this was an ideology that was taking hold in a lot of elite institutions, the media, corporate America, the bureaucracy, the education establishment. It was not… Most Americans don’t want anything to do with this stuff. I mean, when you start telling people that men can get pregnant, I mean, give me a break. But that’s what you’re seeing around the country. They crowned the champion swimmer… was a guy that competed for three years as a man, then switches as a woman and wins the championship. And denied opportunities for these other women.

Governor DeSantis: (19:07)
This is the mindset that we see. We see it in CRT, but we see it in these other things. But man, it has a big foothold in these elite institutions. And I think the danger for the society was they would just be a able to shove this down everybody’s throat without any opposition. Well, the fact that he has helped raise the alarm and educate people on this. He is equipping parents. He’s equipping people in elected office to fight back. And today we do that. And so I give you Chris Rufo.

Chris Rufo: (19:40)
It’s great to be with you. And it’s great to be celebrating with the incredible free State of Florida. I’ve been working hard for the past two years to expose critical race theory in the federal government, in the K through 12 education system, and surprisingly enough in America’s Fortune 100 companies. And as the governor just said many times, those of us who work in journalism and policy and activism can go for long stretches with little impact. But there is people who have heeded the call, including many of the people in the audience today. These are parents who, after they come home from work, they’re tired. They show up at that school board meeting to say, “I don’t want my kids segregated on the basis of race. I don’t want my kids being told that they’re either forever doomed to feel guilt and shame because of their skin color or have no opportunity and no possibility of success in the United States.”

Chris Rufo: (20:34)
I look around this room, I see a room that looks a lot like the country. This isn’t what the New York Times says it is. It’s not certainly what the Washington Post says it is. We believe that this country out of many, one and critical race theory takes that American formula and turns it on its head. It says out of one, many, and we’re going to pit people who look differently from each other against each other. I’ve reported in schools where again, students are segregated on the basis of race. How many of you want that?

Crowd: (21:05)

Chris Rufo: (21:07)
I’ve reported on schools where they’re teaching kids as young as seven and eight years old, that if they’re white male and heterosexual, they are fundamentally oppressive and they have to atone for the sin of their birth. How many of you want that?

Crowd: (21:20)

Chris Rufo: (21:21)
And how many of you people who come from all over the world, racial minorities, including my own wife, my own children would like to be told that this country is out to get you, wants to punish you, and wants to make sure that you have no possibility of success? How many of you want that?

Crowd: (21:37)

Chris Rufo: (21:39)
And so I think it’s a great testament to not only the legislators in Florida, but the greatest governor in the country right now, standing up to these people. He stood up to the lies. He stood up to the ideologues. He stood up to some of the big corporations because he’s on your side and he’s not going to back down. And I’d like to close with something I think is equally important. We’re all here because we care about schools. But as adults, we should care also about the workplace. And there’s a company here in the state of Florida that has been promoting critical race theory more than any other company in the country. You might have heard of this company. It’s called Walt Disney.

Crowd: (22:35)

Chris Rufo: (22:39)
Last year, I did an investigative report on Disney, where I exposed their critical race theory program. I’m going to read a couple of their principles they’re promoting. Disney executive said, “The US has a long history of systemic racism and transphobia. Encourage white employees to do a white privileged checklist and a white fragility, psychological test.” These tests are not psychological tests that you would see in a legitimate sense, but they automatically assume your guilt. If you’re white, you have white fragility. You have white privilege. No matter where you come from, no matter what your circumstances.

Chris Rufo: (23:15)
Disney also told employees that “Individualism, timeliness and competition are white dominant values that should be rejected.” This is not only absurd. Individualism is not exclusively for people of any race and it’s extremely patronizing. And I’m going to say it racist to suggest that people of color can’t show up on time and aren’t individuals.

Chris Rufo: (23:45)
In some of their materials, they also promoted that this is going to be hard to believe, but it’s true. I have it on my website for the media that wants to fact check this, that white babies, “discriminate against other races and become full blown racists by age four.” And in closing, Disney tells its employees to reject the principle of equality, which means equal treatment and embrace the principle of equity, which means equal outcomes. Now, how many of you had families escape from communist countries? How does equity and equal outcomes turn out in reality? It turns out into a nightmare, poverty, starvation, gulags and killing of innocent people. We’re in the very initial stages, down a very dark path. And thankfully the legislators of Florida have said, “Not in this state, not in this country.”

Crowd: (24:38)

Chris Rufo: (24:42)
And I’d like to close with a direct message to the CEO of Disney, bob Chapek. This program called Reimagine Tomorrow is not only morally wrong, it is now illegal in the State of Florida. And so we’re going to give you the weekend to make some adjustments to immediately abolish this program. Because on Monday, if this is still part of Disney’s human resources program, there will be consequences. God bless Florida. God bless Governor Ron DeSantis. And God bless all of you.

Governor DeSantis: (25:38)
All right. Now, we’re going to hear from some of our parents. So Aly, come on up.

Aly Legge: (25:49)
Good afternoon, everyone. First, I would like to extend my gratitude to our governor for continuously showing the people of Florida, what a true statesman looks like. You have been a true representative of the people maintaining our individual liberties and our constitutional principles, not special interests or political ideologies. And thank you to all of the legislators that also show the same effort. I know so many Floridians appreciate what you all are doing, especially for our children, so thank you.

Governor DeSantis: (26:16)
Thank you. Thank you.

Aly Legge: (26:17)
My name is Aly Legge. I’m from Hillsborough County, Florida. I am an army veteran, a wife. Thank you. Thank you. A wife and a mother of five children. I stand before you not just as a multiracial, multicultural mother of children of the same, but most importantly as an American. And sadly, my family has experienced the effects of CRT over the last three years.

Aly Legge: (26:48)
From being told that the constitution can be suspended under emergency rule by a history teacher, to being told that only non minorities are racist, even being graded, not on performance, but based on who my child chose to be friends with. To being told that my child should denounce the father that has raised him as his own since he was three years old because he is white and without his black father, he would not be here. By a teacher who had absolutely no idea what has transpired in our family. These teachers had no right to push their ideologies onto my children and it should not have happened in the first place. Their job is to teach reading, writing, science, and math. Everything else is up to me and their father, their parents.

Crowd: (27:41)

Aly Legge: (27:43)
Can you imagine my children who are of various shades of melanin being told that because they are of lighter skin, they are oppressors, or of darker skin, they are oppressed. What does that do to them mentally and emotionally? What does that do to our family as a whole? What about other children from families that come to the United States that have escaped communism, tyrannical government overreach, and that are light skinned or dark skinned? We are an international country where people from all over the world come here to rebuild their lives, to live in liberty where their inherent rights are protected.

Aly Legge: (28:21)
We are all shades. All humans are all shades of the human skin tone. And now they are being told that the new country that they have escaped to, is inherently racist and oppressive. This is demoralizing psychologically and emotionally damaging. Critical race theory is racist at its core. Its main tenet is to rid racism with racism. It promotes segregation within the family and in our nation. It sets a match to the civil rights movement dishonoring our ancestors who fought so valiantly for freedom, not just in the 60s, but in the civil war. CRT violates the 14th amendment, sets the stage for a new civil war by pitching oppressor versed oppressed, breeds hatred for fellow Americans and family members, creates victims instead of victors and completely undermines American principles of liberty and being the land of opportunity. CRT has seeped its way into teachers trainings to renew their licenses and throughout the workforce, under the guise of diversity, equity, inclusion, cultural relative teaching, implicit bias training, social, emotional learning, and comprehensive sex education. Supporters of this kind of ideology will say that opposing it silences black history and suppresses true American history.

Aly Legge: (29:41)
However, what CRT actually does is divides Americans by superficial identities instead of uniting us under liberty and justice for all. Our American history is not perfect. How could it be? We’re all human. We all make mistakes, right? However, we are not our past. We cannot control what happened then. And those of us alive now should not be held responsible for those transgressions, but we can control how we move forward. Yes, we should learn all of American history. And after all, our founders took understanding thousands of years of historical tyranny, oppression, and government overreach, and created the only country in the world that limited government and protected the people’s God given rights.

Aly Legge: (30:27)
We already teach about the horrors of slavery like governor DeSantis explained, but we must also teach that slavery was not unique to America. It happened all over the world, well before America was even a thought. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is the United States of America I want for my kids. And for all of your kids, for the future of America. Not a segregated country filled with hatred and lies.

Aly Legge: (31:11)
The bottom line is guys, our children are already suffering more than ever from this pandemic. And we need to be focusing our efforts on supporting each other. This is not a time to focus on unnecessarily dividing our children and teaching them to distrust their peers at a time when they need them the most. We should be telling them that they can do whatever they put their minds to without limitations because they can.

Aly Legge: (31:37)
The damage of CRT, if not stopped will be irreversible. About 70% of American citizens go through our public school system. Imagine what the trajectory of our country would look like if we did not stop this. This is not the kind of country I want my kids to live in. Or their peers. And as a veteran and coming from a military family, we know exactly what the sacrifice is that it takes to maintain our freedoms and our Liberty. We are no longer one generation away.

Aly Legge: (32:03)
… maintain our freedoms and our liberty. We are no longer one generation away from losing our freedoms. We are right here, right now. And I’m telling you, many parents and teachers and bystanders have experienced and witnessed exactly what my family has gone through, and as many of the other speakers here today, but we are at very trivial point in time right now that, if too many good people do nothing, evil will prevail. It will just get worse. So if not now, then when? If not you, then who? It is time to get uncomfortable for the comfort of future generations. So thank you very much, Governor, and our legislators for stepping up.

Governor DeSantis: (32:54)
Awesome. Man. You know she’s running for school board in Hillsborough county. Her website is [votealimarieleg.com 00:33:05]. Good okay. We have [Christine Chaparro 00:33:13]. Come on.

Christine Chaparro: (33:20)
Hi, everyone. Thank you, Governor DeSantis, and your team for the opportunity to speak today. As a Broward County mom of three, soon to be four, I have always been involved in my children’s education. My oldest two are currently in a great public school in Broward County. For six years, my husband and I have volunteered. I have been the [room 00:33:39] mom on the PTA and involved in [SAC 00:33:43]. I, myself, went through K-12 education in Broward County Public School. With that being said, this will be my kid’s final year. They will be in a private school next year because, although our school is great, the district is not and there’s only so much that a great school and insulate from that.

Christine Chaparro: (34:05)
In the beginning of the school year, my fifth grader came home with benchmark assessment workbooks as his ELA curriculum. That’s English language arts. First one had excerpts from an author who students were encouraged to research. The passages were not great quality to show developing writers, so it piqued my interest to look a little bit more. Well, I looked him up and he co- authored an anti-racism book with Ibram Kendi. So I was like, “Oh, I get it.”

Christine Chaparro: (34:35)
The next one he came home with was titled The US Constitution, Then and Now. On page mentioned a movement to make Washington DC a state, but left out why it’s not. A passage explains that a strong central government was argued for when creating the US Constitution because the states had a lot of power to govern themselves, which as a perspective, but not really the basis for the constitution’s creation. Another passage was labeled, “Vocabulary Practice Text,” was titled, “Know Your Voting Rights.” The first paragraph reads, “After Stacey Abrams lost George’s election for governor in 2018, she stepped up her fight for fair elections.”

Speaker 4: (35:22)

Christine Chaparro: (35:22)
It goes on to say, “Evens that occurred during the election convinced her that the vote had been suppressed, influencing the results.” Suppressed is the vocabulary word. Third paragraph reads, “She points out that problems like these, which seem like errors or disorganization, are just ways to suppress votes. Abrams is the first black woman to run as a US Democrat candidate for governor. She’s keenly aware of obstacles facing voters of color.” Another vocabulary practice text talks about racism and a Black Lives Matter protest.

Christine Chaparro: (35:54)
Another workbook, the third one he came home with, is The Economic Development of Cities. It mentions racism and discrimination and bias at least eight times as the cause of our economic development of cities. Now, some may argue that these examples aren’t that bad, but when you pull together the series of workbooks as an English language arts curriculum, it’s not civics, it’s not social studies, this is English language arts, these passages are selected and compiled, it’s obvious that the goal is to teach children to view history in our country through one lens. This is the English language arts curriculum chosen by Broward County Public Schools, while students are behind on reading and language arts.

Christine Chaparro: (36:41)
These decisions, along with other BCPS policies, are the reason why my children will be attending private school next year. And I know my family is not alone on looking for alternatives. Opponents of this bill argue that this law will remove or rewrite history. I disagree that what is in my kid’s benchmark assessment workbooks is accurate history or a lens that belongs in an elementary school classroom. As a Cuban American, I am not afraid of knowing ugly or uncomfortable parts of history. Those that do not know history are doomed to repeat it, after all.

Speaker 4: (37:16)

Christine Chaparro: (37:16)
I do fear the indoctrination of showing every facet of life through one specific ideological lens and calling it public school education. Again, I thank you for the opportunity and I thank all that worked towards passing this legislation.

Governor DeSantis: (37:30)
Great job. Oh, and by the way, with Stacey Abrams, in Florida last year, I signed a bill. We banned ballot harvesting in the State of Florida. We’re not allowing that. No way. And we’re actually going to do one soon that they passed in Florida, ballot harvesting, we’re going to increase the penalties to a third- degree felony. We’re not allowing this to go on here. Okay, one more parent, a friend of mine from Duval County, [Keisha 00:38:10] King.

Keisha King: (38:19)
Hello, everyone. First, thank you, Governor DeSantis, for your bold and courageousness for everything that you do. So honored, as always. And also, hello to your beautiful wife, Casey. My name is Keisha King. I’m a mom of two. And Governor DeSantis has been, again, bold and courageous. Every time I see him, those are the two words that I see, that I want to say because so many of us are searching for strong leadership these days.

Keisha King: (38:48)
So my daughter, who was … her first week of eighth grade, she was asked what pronoun she wanted to go by. And I told her not to worry about it after I had emailed the teacher and gotten no response. Later on in the year, that same teacher said that my daughter, who is part of me, she recorded a conversation in that very same … Yes. This is her following my instructions when I said, “Be vigilant.” So she recorded a conversation in the same language arts class and the teacher said, “Oh, we’re going to be discussing some racially themed books.” Well, okay, I guess nothing too harmful there.

Keisha King: (39:26)
Well, as she went on, she never actually went through the book. She just started looking at the children and saying, “As an African American child, how are you discriminated against? As an LGBTQ student, Asian student …” and she just went on and on. It turned into total chaos. The children just started going back and forth with each other. It was unbelievable. It was basically like the oppression Olympics in a classroom. They were all vying to be more oppressed. It was deeply disturbing.

Keisha King: (39:54)
Later on in Duval County also, we had a segregated assembly that was planned where the black children were to meet at 9:30 and the white children were to meet at 10 o’clock.

Speaker 5: (40:05)

Keisha King: (40:06)
Yes. This was shut down, however, by parents who were in the streets … Parents said, “No more,” and we ended that segregated assembly. It’s hard to even believe that something like that was scheduled in 2021, but you can go fact check me. It was all over the news. However, it is because of Governor DeSantis and his bold and courageous leadership that we are so thankful for that we don’t have to hear these excuses of, “Oh, critical race theory is not being taught in schools,” because Governor DeSantis and Chris and all of the parents have been showing you evidence piece after evidence piece that this is real and it is happening to our children. And we do not want our children racially segregated. We don’t want our children to be looked at through the lens of race. This is nonsense. We have taught our kids our values that say, “Don’t judge us by the color of our skin.” It’s just very simple.

Keisha King: (41:14)
So I am just so very grateful that critical race theory will now be outlawed in schools and also in corporations. We don’t want to hear about your be less white. We don’t want to hear about any of these other things going on involving critical race theory. I am so grateful to stand alongside such a great governor in this remarkable time in history. I thank you so, so very much, Governor DeSantis. It is always a pleasure. God bless you and God bless Florida.

Governor DeSantis: (41:41)
[inaudible 00:41:41].

Keisha King: (41:41)

Governor DeSantis: (41:41)
[inaudible 00:41:41]. You did good. Okay. Our lieutenant governor.

Jeanette Nuñez: (42:01)
Good afternoon. Thank you all so much for being here. Thank you, Governor, for your bold leadership and for signing this very important piece of legislation, which is the first in the nation to end corporate wokeness and to make sure that we end CRT in our schools because, as the governor said, we believe in education, not indoctrination. And a lot of people spoken before me have talked about CRT, the perverse evil that it is, what it means. They have talked about how it is Marxist inspired. And I will tell you, at its core, CRT tells the story that, for more than 240 years, America has been a symbol of hatred, prejudice, and bigotry, teaching our children to hate their country. And that, for me, is something that I cannot stand idly by. We must fight back. And that’s why we have a great governor that’s willing to take on these issues.

Jeanette Nuñez: (42:59)
And like so many of you, I’m the daughter of Cuban refugees that came to this country in 1961 to do just that, to make sure that their children would not be indoctrinated by the tyranny of Castro, that would not be subjected to having to listen to believing in the revolution. And so for us to divide our children into oppressors or victims is something that my parents taught me very early on, we cannot stand for that because the one thing that unites us, whether we’re first-generation Americans like me or perhaps seventh-generation Americans, is gratitude for the greatest country in the history of the world.

Jeanette Nuñez: (43:41)
So thankfully, we have a leader like our great governor, we have leaders like President Simpson and others that are standing here with us today that made sure that social justice warriors and corporate activists and all the wokeness that’s going on in our schools, in our universities, in our companies, that they will be met with the force of someone that has an incredible fortitude, bravery, and conviction, because I’m a mom, just like many of you. I have three children, myself, and I’ve always taught them, “You have to love this country. You have to respect authority. You have to do your best because your rights come not from government, they come from God.”

Jeanette Nuñez: (44:34)
So we have to welcome that. We always should strive to be free and, in the great State of Florida, the free State of Florida, we have a champion in that. So God bless you all and God bless the great State of Florida.

Governor DeSantis: (44:56)
Okay. Our Secretary of the Lottery, John Davis.

John Davis: (45:07)
Thank you, Governor. I grew up in the rural community of Pahokee, Florida.

Speaker 4: (45:15)
[inaudible 00:45:15].

John Davis: (45:17)
Was fortunate to attend Florida State University, to play football, as the governor mentioned earlier, on a full-ride scholarship. This overall experience gave me an opportunity to earn a world-class education, which has been the cornerstone to the success that I’ve been able to enjoy throughout my career. Today, there are supporters of CRT who would have you to believe that a black kid, like myself, from McClure Village Projects in Pahokee didn’t or couldn’t have a fair chance to succeed. This mindset is far from the truth and it doesn’t belong in our classrooms.

John Davis: (46:10)
Governor, I just wanted to thank you for remaining committed and making sure that our kids, our educators and, yes, our parents are equipped with the tools, the resources, and the protection that will help God, these students to become doctors, lawyers, government officials, or whatever they may want to be in their lives. The signage of this bill today will tell every Florida student that, regardless of the race, ethnicity, or their social economic status, they will have the same opportunity as myself, many of you all, and others to be great and to live their American dream.

Speaker 4: (47:12)

John Davis: (47:17)
To the governor and our legislators, thank you all for your leadership. Thank you.

Governor DeSantis: (47:30)
All right. Last but not least, Commissioner Corcoran took the job and he’s had to work, because we’ve done so much education and I’m always, “When are we doing this? When are we doing this?” And if you look at what we’ve done, obviously this is important to make sure we don’t have indoctrination in the schools, we’ve done huge increases in teacher salaries, we’ve done things for American civics in our schools, we’ve done things for workforce education, early literacy, you name it, and he’s been there. So Manny has some big shoes to fill. The only place …

Governor DeSantis: (48:03)
Manny has some big shoes to fill. The only place he was lacking was in our charity golf tournament. He never scored points for me, but other than that, he did a bang-up job. So why don’t you come on up here?

Commissioner Corcoran: (48:17)
He had me working too hard. I couldn’t practice my golf game. When I told him, I say, “This has been a fast, furious run. I think I need a breather,” and I said, “Who are you thinking about recommending to replace me?” And he goes, “I’m not sure yet. I’m not sure yet,” he goes, “but I do know this. I want someone who’s taller, younger, better looking, and smarter. And so now, we got Manny Diaz.

Commissioner Corcoran: (48:42)
I just want to say real fast, and a lot of the comments have been made, but the governor mentioned it and the inspirational stories that’s part of this bill, he talked about Frederick Douglas. And Frederick Douglas, when you come to the Department of Education, as soon as we took over, we put really big his quote on education. And he said, “Education is freedom. Education is the uplifting of the human soul to the glorious light of truth.” And you also heard numerous speakers quoting the preamble. And in that preamble, it says, “We hold these truths …” and then everything else after that is famous, but it’s truths. And what today is, more than anything else, what is happening in schools, and you hear it from the great philosophers of time, great philosophers will say, “If you show me how you’re education your children, I’ll tell you your country’s future.”

Commissioner Corcoran: (49:24)
And if we want to keep this beautiful, wonderful experiment called America, we have got to get our education of our children right. And what is that war in our classrooms? Yes, it’s CRT, it’s this, it’s that, but what it is is a war against truth. What they want to promulgate are lies. And what this bill says is we will protect our children and protect our workers and they will learn the truth. You hear it all the time. Every time you pick up the paper, now at Disney and whatever, it doesn’t matter, Governor DeSantis has fought more battles and more wars than any governor probably in the history of America. And everyone’s like, “How does he keep doing it? He’s winning, and winning, and winning,” because this governor knows the truth and he will fight for it. And when he does that, you will never, ever beat him. Thank you.

Governor DeSantis: (50:19)
Momentarily, I’m going to sign the [inaudible 00:50:21]. We actually have two other bills. The legislature just did a special session. They passed three pieces of legislation. I’m going to sign two of those here today. One was … We did a bill last year to combat censorship by big tech companies. And it did a couple things, but it provided Floridians the ability to sue big tech if you are deplatformed or censored based on viewpoint discrimination, under a consumer fraud theory because they say they’re open platforms and they steal your data and make a fortune off that. We also provided protection for political candidates so they can’t deplatform you during the campaign and give the other party an advantage, which they probably would do.

Governor DeSantis: (51:07)
So anyways, there’s a lot of good stuff, but look, this is something we knew big tech would litigate. So they sued on it. It’s now on appeal. They got a preliminary injunction from a district judge. It’s on appeal. Next week is going to be the argument in the 11th Circuit. One of the provisions that got snuck into there at the end was a carve-out for anybody who operated a theme park, which is meant to protect Disney.

Governor DeSantis: (51:30)
I was in a situation as governor, do I veto the whole bill over that and get nothing or do I sign it in spite of that? So I thought it was better to sign it in spite of that, knowing it was going to be litigated and know we could tweak it later, but the district judge actually pointed to that provision as one of the reasons why he wanted to do the preliminary injunction. So it was a mistake for it to be done. The legislature has rectified that mistake and they have repealed the Disney exemption to our big tech bill. That’s important. The other bill will be dealing with a handful of what are called these special districts that were done prior to the ratification of our constitution in 1968. And one of those districts is, unlike anything else that we know in the State of Florida, that was called Reedy Creek Improvement District, it actually gave Walt Disney Company their own government in Central Florida. And so they control, they’re self- governing, they have the ability to build a nuclear power plant without state consent if they want, they don’t have to go through permitting, they have all kind of different benefits. And it was really an aberration. No individual or no company in Florida is treated this way.

Governor DeSantis: (52:46)
And it’s not right to have dissimilar treatment, but they had exercised a lot of power over the years. It was never anything that was debated. In fact, I don’t even know that I knew the name of it, prior to this becoming something that was live in the past few months. So we had to take a look at that and we looked and we said, “You know what? Man, this is not right,” but you did have the situation with our Parents’ Rights and Education Bill.

Governor DeSantis: (53:10)
And the thing is is you know, when you’re doing some of this stuff, what happens with leftists and media. They like to distort. They like to create false narratives. For whatever reason, Disney got on that bandwagon, they demagogued the bill, they lied about it, whatever, came out against it. You know what my view is? I was very clear about saying, “You ain’t influencing me. I’m standing strong right here. So it doesn’t matter.”

Governor DeSantis: (53:38)
But I was very clear, but I was also saying, “I think it’s interesting that you’re getting involved in Florida, protecting kindergartners from going to school without having transgender ideology in their curriculum, but you don’t say anything about the Communist Party of China with all the atrocities they’re committing and you’re making a fortune with them. You don’t say things about other countries and their practices,” but nevertheless, it’s fine.

Governor DeSantis: (54:04)
And so we weren’t going to let that deter us. No big deal. We signed the bill and then, and incredibly, they say, “We are going to work to repeal Parents’ Rights in Florida.” And I’m just thinking to myself, “You’re a corporation based in Burbank, California, and you’re going to martial your economic might to attack the parents of my state? We view that as a provocation and we are going to fight back against that.” But honestly, even in spite of that, if none of that had happened, this is the right thing to do just on the basis of those Zoom videos that you saw. He actually helped expose these Zoom videos. If you guys haven’t seen these videos, you need to watch these videos. These are videos of very high-up people in this corporation in Disney and they’re talking about their intentional agenda to inject sexuality in the programming that’s provided to our youngest kids, kids of my age, five, four, and two. They want that as part of Disney programming. That is just fundamentally wrong.

Governor DeSantis: (55:14)
And they have the freedom, I guess, to do what they want, but as a parent, I was very shaken by hearing that because it’s one thing to talk about legislation and, yes, they were wrong, yes, they did all that, but when you’re talking about these acknowledgements and, really, the glee that these people had in these videos that they were going to get this stuff in … They were talking about concepts like pan-sexualism. I thought to myself, “I don’t know what that means, but I know I don’t want my five-year-old daughter to be taught it.”

Governor DeSantis: (55:45)
And so it’s really, really problematic that, when a company had been so, so synonymous with parents of young children, to, yes, come out against the Parents’ Rights Bill, but then to have those videos produced where they’re doing that, and I’m just not comfortable having that type of agenda get special treatment in my state. I just can’t do it. And so the bill here sets the market that that is going to go.

Governor DeSantis: (56:19)
Now, people will say that you have services, utilities. We’re going to take care of all that. Don’t worry. We have everything thought out. Don’t let anyone tell you that somehow Disney is going to get a tax cut out of this. They’re going to pay more taxes as a result of this, but it’s just we really need to get away from this type of treatment that was really unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Governor DeSantis: (56:43)
And so I thought it was appropriate. I would’ve signed this bill three years ago if it had come to my desk, just on basic principles, but I think that partnership that developed early on with Walt Disney, I don’t think Walt would appreciate what’s going on in this company right now. I’m sorry.

Governor DeSantis: (57:00)
So I think it’s appropriate to sign that here today. We also did sign the congressional reapportionment in Tallahassee earlier today. So that’s going to be transmitted, but these are the bills, the Stop Woke, which passed during the regular session, and then the theme park carve-out from our big tech bill, and the special districts bill. We’re going to put our John Hancocks on all of those right now.

Governor DeSantis: (57:29)
All right. I got to figure out which one is which. I may not have enough pens for all this [inaudible 00:57:37]. So this is the Stop Woke. All right. Then we’ve got the big tech exemption, and then we’ve got the special districts. Okay. All right. Today is the 22nd, I think.

Speaker 6: (57:48)

Speaker 7: (57:51)
Stand closer. Can you guys squeeze in there? Go, go, go, go.

Governor DeSantis: (57:59)
Oh, yeah. [inaudible 00:58:00]. All right, guys. Almost done. One more. All right. There you go, sir. Who else wants one?

Speaker 7: (58:14)
Grab one, mama.

Speaker 8: (58:16)
Over here. [inaudible 00:58:17].

Speaker 7: (58:17)
Grab one, mama.

Governor DeSantis: (58:18)
I’ll get you guys one on the next bill. Freedom from indoctrination. All right. Now, I don’t know who set up this table, staff, but I am out of markers. Do we have any more markers in the house?

Speaker 9: (58:46)
I got one.

Speaker 6: (58:47)
[inaudible 00:58:47].

Speaker 9: (58:47)
Here you go, Governor.

Governor DeSantis: (58:47)
[crosstalk 00:58:47] be able to keep it. Do we have any more?

Speaker 9: (58:47)
There you are.

Governor DeSantis: (58:47)
Yeah, we got one more.

Speaker 9: (58:47)
All right.

Speaker 6: (58:48)
Do we have more [crosstalk 00:58:48]?

Speaker 9: (58:48)
You have to sign my sign, though.

Speaker 7: (58:50)
Let’s go, Elon.

Governor DeSantis: (58:52)
I’m signing the big tech … removing the exemption.

Speaker 9: (58:59)
There they are. [crosstalk 00:59:00].

Speaker 7: (59:02)
Nice. [crosstalk 00:59:04]. Mama, now you can grab one, Emma.

Speaker 10: (59:07)
There’s one more. Do you want one?

Speaker 9: (59:08)

Speaker 7: (59:08)
When he’s done signing.

Governor DeSantis: (59:13)
And I think we’re going to win this appeal. And so to be the first state in the country-

Speaker 7: (59:17)
[crosstalk 00:59:17].

Governor DeSantis: (59:17)
… to actually [crosstalk 00:59:18]. They are trying to control the narrative. They are trying to cycle descending view. That’s why Twitter doesn’t want to sell to Elon Musk, because [crosstalk 00:59:29] and they’re not going to be able to control what people think anymore. So that big tech one is done. So we’ve got [inaudible 00:59:36]. Who wants one?

Speaker 11: (59:35)

Governor DeSantis: (59:43)
[crosstalk 00:59:43]. Now, [crosstalk 00:59:50] special district. This is important. There’s some of these older districts that aren’t as big of a deal as the Disney one, but they were problematic, too. So the legislature is going to take care of those, but ultimately, this state is governed by the best interest of the people of the state, not by any one woke corporation. We’re not going to let them take over the state and I think this is an example [crosstalk 01:00:28]. [inaudible 01:00:28]. All right. So now, we’ve got … Who wants one of these?

Speaker 12: (01:00:40)
[crosstalk 01:00:40].

Speaker 7: (01:00:50)
There you go, Emma. Grab one for you and your brother, Gabriel. Stick your hand in there.

Speaker 12: (01:00:53)
May I have one?

Governor DeSantis: (01:00:55)
[crosstalk 01:00:55].

Speaker 7: (01:01:07)
Go, Gabriel. Stick your hand in there. One more right here.

Speaker 9: (01:01:07)
Yay, he got it. Good job.

Speaker 7: (01:01:08)
[inaudible 01:01:08].

Commissioner Corcoran: (01:01:08)
Hey, good to see you again. Yeah.

Speaker 7: (01:01:08)
Good to see you, too. You did awesome in your speech.

Commissioner Corcoran: (01:01:08)
Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah, it was fine.

Speaker 7: (01:01:28)
Like always.

Commissioner Corcoran: (01:01:29)
Oh, it’s fun. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Speaker 7: (01:01:32)
Thank you so much.

Commissioner Corcoran: (01:01:32)
Thanks for being here.

Speaker 7: (01:01:34)
[crosstalk 01:01:34].

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