Florida students ‘Walkout 2 Learn’ in opposition to Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida students are taking half a Friday, not in anticipation of the weekend but to go in protest at recent moves by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and state legislators to restrict the school curriculum.

The mass 12 p.m. demonstrations, scheduled to take place at more than 300 campuses across Florida, are being organized by walkout 2 learning(opens in a new tab)a Florida-based network of student activists leading a statewide opposition effort in protest.

“Black, queer, trans and female identifying people and their stories are the target of government censorship. Florida’s government is, without exaggeration, citing an authoritarian takeover of its public education system. Our governor forgot that students have rights. We’re here to remind him,” the site said. “This is an education, an activation, a revolution.”


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Earlier this week, DeSantis expanded(opens in a new tab) the reach of the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill (aka “Don’t Say Gay”) that passed last year, which banned discussion of LGBTQ issues in kindergarten from third-grade classrooms. The recent expansion will ban teachers at all grade levels from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity “unless such teaching is either expressly required by government academic standards … or is part of a reproductive health course or health lesson taught by a student’s parents.” have the option of not allowing his or her student to participate.”

The youth organizers also denounce the introduction of bills by the Florida legislature Restrict diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives(opens in a new tab) implemented at state colleges and universities Moderation Requirements for School Libraries(opens in a new tab)And limit sex education(opens in a new tab).

The Coalition of Florida Students and Organizations was joined by The Alliance for Social Justice Through Education(opens in a new tab) (SEE(opens in a new tab)), Teen Vogue reported(opens in a new tab)which aims to increase the political power of youth through organizing local communities.

Walkout 2 Learn was founded by 19-year-old Zander Moricz, who is also the mind behind SEE. He said Teen Vogue that organizers hope to draw the attention of lawmakers who have ignored the students for too long. “They don’t deal with our prospects,” he said. Moricz has become an outspoken LGBTQ student activist(opens in a new tab) since he drew attention to himself with his graduation speech(opens in a new tab), who strategically circumvented his school’s ban on using the word “gay.” He is also the face of Walkout 2 Learn’s TikTok presence(opens in a new tab).

How you can get involved, whether in Florida or abroad

Moricz and the other student organizers are calling on supporters across the country to join and have them in the Friday action released a toolkit(opens in a new tab) for those looking for guidance to organize their own demonstration or otherwise support the cause before, during and after the strike. Resources include how to donate to the effort, spread the word, and join coalitions and teams dedicated to continuing the work.

“Walkout 2 Learn recognizes the harmful fascism that Floridians experience every day and will provide immediate, short-term solutions to each participant so they can protect themselves and their communities,” it said. “Longer term, Walkout 2 Learn gives each participant opportunities to build power and community so that the next time we have a chance to make our voices heard in the legislature, we’ll be ready.”

Interested students are cordially invited to participate Walkout 2 Learn’s Slack channel(opens in a new tab) to connect with other organizers, find training and get additional support. those of the coalition Instagram page(opens in a new tab) also hosts student story takeovers and will re-share Why I’m Walking Out vlogs recorded by participating students.

What makes the demonstration unique is that Walkout 2 Learn doesn’t just let the class stop when students take to the streets. It honors but adds that Demonstrations by Florida students last year by providing educational opportunities for local students.

Participants in Friday’s strikes will participate in a five-minute peer-led banned curriculum lesson conducted in defiance of DeSantis educational mandates, Walkout 2 Learn says, with each peer instructor receiving direction from Harvard educators. The organizers are also offering students the opportunity to enroll in a virtual college-level African American studies course, which the organizers are creating in conjunction with professors from Historically Black colleges and universities and other institutions around the country.

At the end, students will be asked to sign an Active Pledge and ensure their voter registration is up to date. Follow-up rallies in multiple cities including Miami, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Orlando begin at 6 p.m

Walkout 2 Learn walkouts and rallies can be found by searching the online event registry(opens in a new tab).

Friday’s events have garnered support from both celebrities and actors Cap Feldstein(opens in a new tab)and popular TikTok advocates and educators like Griffin Maxwell Brooks(opens in a new tab), Khalil Greene(opens in a new tab)And jorie(opens in a new tab) (@AlluringSkull).

The Florida Democratic Party and Rep. Anna Eskamani have also voted in favor of Walkout 2 Learn, signaling a partisan outcry amid this week’s action.

Long term, Moricz said Teen Vogue that student organizers take a pragmatic approach to the state’s legislative future and focus on building a strong base of open students. “We need to provide ourselves with curriculum, resources, activations and communities. It’s a short and long term strategy that will allow for survival and then hopefully a chance to reclaim our condition.”

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Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing zackzwiezen@ustimespost.com.

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