Protesters flood DeSantis’ office after Florida Republicans pass sweeping education bill

Protesters flooded the office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at the state Capitol on Wednesday after the Republican legislature passed sweeping education bills that Democrats have decried as racist and transphobic. Police made at least a dozen arrests as the protesters planted themselves inside DeSantis’ office. DeSantis was not at the Capitol at the time, though bemused staffers could be seen behind a walled desk. Dozens of protesters locked arms, sat on the carpet, and refused to comply with police officers’ warnings that they must vacate the area within 20 minutes. Police issued the warning at roughly 7 p.m., and began making arrests around 7:30. Those arrested face trespassing charges and a one-year ban from the Capitol grounds, according to the Miami Herald. FLORIDA PASSES BILL ALLOWING DESANTIS TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT WITHOUT RESIGNING RON DESANTIS TO LAUNCH 2024 PRESIDENTIAL EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE NEXT MONTH: REPORT The first piece of legislation prevents students and teachers from being required to use pronouns that don’t correspond to a person’s biological sex, and the second bill bans diversity programs in colleges throughout the state. The bills sailed through the Florida House and Senate to the desk of the governor, who is expected to sign them this week. Other legislation working its way through the legislature would ban schools from teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation up to the eighth grade. DeSantis has called for such teachings to be prohibited in all grades. It also allows challenges against school books that critics argue are inappropriate for children. The idea, according to supporters, is to protect children from sexualized content. DeSantis first burst onto the national stage with his refusal to comply with COVID norms and for his willingness to push back on what conservatives perceive as “woke” education agendas. The governor is widely expected to enter the 2024 presidential race in the coming weeks. Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.
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