Tell the Dept of Ed. to step up and defend free speech, due process, and the right to learn without fear of right-wing hate.

A federal judge blocked Florida from enforcing major aspects of Governor DeSantis’ Stop WOKE Act, which limited discussions of race, gender, sexuality, and anything that might make individuals “feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress” because of past actions by other people of the same race or sex.

The ruling was unequivocal, saying the measure violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression and the Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.

It’s a big win and a critically important step forward in the fight to stop right-wing hate in our schools, but this fight is a long way from over.

Across the country, everyone from organizations like the ACLU and Protect Democracy to teachers, students, consulting firms, and even the honeymoon registry company Honeyfund and Ben & Jerry Ice Cream are suing in court to stop these hateful right-wing attacks on education and free speech. The question is: why isn’t the Department of Education?

The DOE can join these lawsuits or file their own. They can offer incentives to schools and states that reject these bans and punish those that break the law.

Despite the traditional power of local governments to determine how schools are run, the federal government is not powerless. It was the federal government that ended segregation after the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education granted the executive branch a legal precedent for enforcing equal access to education.[1]

Through a carrots and sticks method the Department of Education has implemented policies requiring desegregated schools, equal access for students with disabilities, and rigorous student evaluation standards.

It’s time for the DOE to step up and defend free speech, due process, and the right to learn without fear of right-wing hate. Sign the petition now.

[1] When it Comes to Education, the Federal Government is in Charge of ... Um, What?, Harvard

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