The students at the New College of Florida are growing increasingly concerned about their safety, quality of education, and fear that their teachers will be fired en masse and that their courses and books will be policed.
Since its founding, this public liberal arts college on the western coast of Florida has attracted students who identify as free thinkers, but they are now caught in the crossfire of a culture war raging in America.
New College, a progressive school with a prominent LGBTQ+ community, is being targeted by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for being testing ground for his war on "woke.” They argue New College, a progressive college with a large LGBTQ+ community, indoctrinates students with leftist ideologies and should be redesigned into a more conservative school.
New College's transformation could serve as a blueprint for reforming higher education nationally as DeSantis prepares for a possible presidential run.
During the renewal of the Board of Trustees in January, DeSantis and his allies installed a majority of conservative members who promptly dismissed the college president, replacing her with a Republican politician. Next, they dismantled the Office of Diversity and Equity. In social media, trustees have posted vague warnings like: “You will see changes in 120 days.”
So far, the changes have coincided with DeSantis' Jan. 31 announcement of a new bill aimed at transforming higher education in Florida. As a result of the bill, gender studies majors and minors would be banned, diversity programs and hiring based on diversity would be eliminated, tenure protections would be weakened, and the university boards would have full control over hiring decisions.
Ron DeSantis is leading a coalition working to indoctrinate and coerce Florida's youth to accept bigotry as the norm. His political ambitions are a visceral governmental threat that is a precursor to the eradication of decades of several marginalized communities' progress and autonomy.
Source: AP News