The Florida Board of Governors late last month approved new rules prohibiting spending any dollars on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The BOG also removed sociology from general education core course options at Florida’s public universities. This includes Tallahassee’s top-ranking schools, Florida A &M University, and Florida State University.
The Tallahassee Democrat photographed dozens of students and professors protesting outside the university’s Student Union to defend diversity as the Board of Governors meeting was taking place.
Sociology covers race, gender, and sexual orientation. These are topics that conservative lawmakers in Florida and other states have targeted and tried to contain.
The Tallahassee Democrat stated that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who last month suspended his campaign to become the Republican nominee for president, has highlighted his efforts to stamp out DEI, saying Florida is “where woke goes to die.”
In 2022, DeSantis signed legislation that restricted how racism and other aspects of history can be taught in schools and workplaces. The Stop WOKE Act bans teaching anything that could make students feel guilty about the past actions of other members of their race.
The New York Times reported that Florida’s board of governors approved “a factual history course” as a replacement for sociology. A factual history course would not take out the truth and replace it with a false narrative.
Ten chairs for the Department of Sociology at Florida’s public universities, including Florida A&M University’s chair for the Department of Sociology and Criminology, Phylis Welch, collaborated on a joint statement to the Florida Board of Governors on the proposal to remove SYG 2000 Principles of Sociology from the general education core course options.
This highlights the detrimental effects of removing the course and why it is essential for students.
The chairs for the Department of Sociology at the state’s public universities said, “Sociology, as a science, explores the social causes and consequences of human behavior, examining patterns in organization and social change across various domains like occupations, technology, aging, crime, and law. Introductory sociology courses offer students a broad perspective on societal forces impacting their lives, contributing to civic literacy in higher education.”
“The knowledge and skills gained are valuable resources for navigating the evolving job market, acknowledged by tech giants and employers in diverse fields. While acknowledging the possibility of teaching introductory sociology outside the core curriculum, reducing its sections could limit access, decrease funding for universities, and diminish the quality of general education.”