DeSantis to Appeal Temporary Injunction Against ‘Stop WOKE’ Act

November 18, 2022 Updated 11:05 AM ET

Parents speak in support of Gov. Ron DeSantis' 'Stop W.O.K.E. Act,' April 22, 2022.
Parents speak in support of Gov. Ron DeSantis' 'Stop W.O.K.E. Act,' April 22, 2022.

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) –  Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to file an appeal after U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued a temporary injunction against the “Stop WOKE” Act in a ruling that called the legislation “positively dystopian.”

The Stop WOKE Act bans educators and workplace employers from teaching Floridians that their “moral character” is determined by race, sex, or national origin. The bill also aims to prohibit corporations from mandating employees go through Critical Race Theory training.

Judge Walker said, “Our professors are critical to a healthy democracy, and the State of Florida’s decision to choose which viewpoints are worthy of illumination and which must remain in the shadows has implications for us all. If our ‘priests of democracy’ are not allowed to shed light on challenging ideas, then democracy will die in darkness.”

DeSantis’ team released the following statement in response:

This recent ruling included several victories for our legal team. We expect many more and ultimately to prevail in this litigation. We strongly disagree with Judge Walker’s preliminary injunction orders on the enforcement of the Stop W.O.K.E. Act and will continue to fight to prevent Florida’s students and employees from being subjected to discriminatory classroom instruction or mandated discriminatory workplace training. The Stop W.O.K.E. Act protects the open exchange of ideas by prohibiting teachers or employers who hold agency over others from forcing discriminatory concepts on students as part of classroom instruction or on employees as a condition of maintaining employment. An ‘open-minded and critical’ environment necessitates that one is free from discrimination.

We intend to appeal.

Bryan Griffin, Press Secretary for Gov. Ron DeSantis

The law prohibits businesses and public school classrooms from telling someone that they are inherently racist because of the color of their skin and that they should feel guilty for actions in the past committed by others who share the same immutable characteristics.

“We are not going to categorize you based on your race. We are not going to tell some kindergartener that they are an oppressor based on their race and what may have happened 100 or 200 years ago,” DeSantis said when he signed the legislation in April.

“We’re not going to tell other kids that they are oppressed based on their race.”

Judge Walker previously issued a similar ruling on the act in relation to businesses.

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