Florida law firm sues to stop ‘Stop WOKE’ law from taking effect

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Almost before the ink dried on the governor’s signature, a Jacksonville law firm filed a lawsuit to stop its “Stop WOKE” law from taking effect.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (Editor’s note: the story above is from a previous report)

A Jacksonville-based law firm filed a lawsuit to block Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE Act” on Friday, minutes after it was signed.

The lawsuit says the controversial measure violates the First Amendment and seeks a court injunction blocking the bill’s enforcement before it “inflicts irreparable harm on schools and workplaces in Florida.”

The bill prohibits any workplace education or training that “embraces, promotes, advances, inculcates or coerces” anyone into believing that a particular race or gender is morally superior, or that an individual may be inherently racist or sexist.

It also targets Critical Race Theory teachings in Florida classrooms, defined by Meriam-Webster as “a group of concepts used to examine the relationship between race and a country’s laws and legal institutions. and especially the United States”. CRT is not currently taught in Florida schools.

“The bill seriously undermines fundamental First Amendment guarantees of academic freedom, freedom of speech, and the right of students to access information regarding these matters,” said Sheppard, White, Kachergus & DeMaggio. in a press release. “That’s why Plantiffs filed this lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of HB7.”

Plaintiffs include a high school teacher in Manatee County, a substitute teacher in Leon County, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida, the president of a Duval County company that provides race training and ethnicity, and a child who will enroll in kindergarten. in Nassau County.

They allege that the legislation at issue here restricts their rights to teach, educate and learn about matters related to race and diversity.

RELATED: Florida Department of Education Releases 4 Examples of ‘Prohibited Content’ After 54 Math Textbooks Rejected

The defendants include Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran, members of the State Board of Education, the Florida Board of Governors of the State University System, and the Florida Attorney General, Ashley Moody.

The lawsuit says the bill is explicitly designed “to suppress speech in Florida schools and workplaces by passing laws that prohibit Florida teachers and employers from endorsing concepts about race and gender. that conservative Florida politicians disagree with.These laws are unconstitutional restrictions based on views on speech that regulate speech by Florida teachers and business owners in violation of their rights of first These laws employ nebulous terms with vague definitions in order to chill protected speech.

In addition to an injunction, plaintiffs seek declaratory relief that a by-law banning critical race theory and “amending the Florida Education Equity Act” is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment.

Signing the bill on Friday, DeSantis defended his intent by saying, “We believe in education, not indoctrination.”

He added, “We believe that an important element of freedom in the State of Florida is the freedom from being opposed to oppressive ideologies without your consent, whether in the classroom or in the workplace.”

According to the bill’s analysis, this would prevent CRT teaching in order to block what is classified as a distortion of historical events inconsistent with State Board of Education guidelines.

RELATED: Governor DeSantis signs bill banning ‘woke’ school classes and workplace training into law

RELATED: Florida Department of Education Releases 4 Examples of ‘Prohibited Content’ After 54 Math Textbooks Rejected

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