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Editorial: Florida’s DEI ban erases educational rights

On Jan. 31, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his plan to ban state universities from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives as part of his higher education agenda.

This announcement came after an earlier promise by presidents of Florida’s two-year community colleges to not teach critical race theory and other related concepts.

Many Republicans across the country have commended DeSantis on his stance on education issues, among other top political issues. However, we at The Spectator believe that getting rid of diversity initiatives at universities is a direct threat towards minorities.

DEI programs promote multiculturalism and allow all students to feel welcome and accepted on campuses around the country. They also allow those with disabilities and different sexual orientations and preferences to be better represented in hopes of improving their lives.

Additionally, equity programs give students of different backgrounds the same access to resources that they may not have had access to previously. This includes things such as scholarship opportunities or access to specialized care.

Taking that away would be detrimental to minority groups and further the divide between different ethnic groups. Eliminating these programs would also make the lives of students with disabilities much more challenging.

While DeSantis’ plan only affects universities in Florida, DeSantis has been viewed as a popular candidate for president should he run in 2024. If he ran and won the presidential election, DeSantis could push for a nationwide ban of inclusive programs at universities.

DeSantis believes that inclusive programs are “discriminatory” when that simply isn’t the case. In fact, we believe that banning such programs would actually be discriminatory.

In addition, DeSantis hopes that banning funding for these initiatives will cause them to “wither on the vine” and that they are an ideological and political filter.

Students of all backgrounds have the right to not only choose what they learn in college but also to freely express themselves and their cultural beliefs. No one should feel excluded while attending college, especially since most students pay to attend college.

Denying them these opportunities serve as an ideological filter in of itself.

In the last several years, the U.S. has taken huge strides forward towards being a more inclusive and equal society for all. The Spectator believes that DeSantis’ plan is a big step back from that ideology.

This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator.

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