Various education reform bills have altered curriculum and cut funding to certain programs in public K-12 schools and universities since the beginning of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration. The initiatives have targeted a wide variety of subject matter including diversity, equity and inclusion programs as well as all critical theory, a blanket term that encompasses the idea of critical race theory. The passage of new legislation, both in support and opposition of past initiatives, faces the state legislature in 2024.
Metro | Politics
Local activists, politicians and community members discuss prospective bills for Florida’s 2024 legislative sessionBy Rylan DiGiacomo-Rapp | Jan. 8
The 2024 Florida regular legislative session begins Jan. 9 with over 1,000 bills filed. The proposed legislation has sparked discussions on a wide range of issues including abortion access, firearm regulations, education reform, environmental protection, insurance rates and hurricane relief.
On Nov. 13, Rep. Katherine Waldron (D-District 39) filed a House bill that would ban corporal punishment for students with disabilities in Florida public K-12 schools and require parental consent in all cases.
‘It’s a start’: Gainesville drag community celebrates temporary lift on Florida ban of children at showsBy Zoey Thomas | Dec. 4
On Nov. 16, the United States Supreme Court refused the state of Florida’s request to re-enact a law punishing businesses for allowing children into drag shows. Artists like Garrepy are taking the opportunity to celebrate the rare legal victory, which follows a flurry of Florida anti-LGBTQ laws passed over recent legislative terms.
Florida chapters of the pro-Palestine organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, have not been deactivated by Gov. Ron DeSantis, despite the order released by State University System’s chancellor Ray Rodrigues more than three weeks ago.
Roughly one month after Hamas attacked Israel Oct. 7, Florida lawmakers convened in Tallahassee for a special session focused on showing support for Israel in its war against the Palestinian militant group.
Andrew Scholberg has been arrested 13 times. But that doesn’t deter the 71-year-old freelance writer and pro-life activist from continuing the work he’s been doing for almost 50 years — standing outside abortion clinics to pray and offer alternatives to women entering the building. A MoveOn petition created Nov. 2 asks the Gainesville City Commission to deter abortion critics like Scholberg from gathering outside Bread & Roses, one of Gainesville’s two abortion clinics. The petition, which gathered over 700 signatures in the week and a half since its creation, encourages signers to ask the commission for “No Loitering or Solicitation” signs along Northwest 10th Avenue.
Car horns blared at South First Avenue and South Main Street Saturday afternoon, when oncoming traffic found the road blocked by a crowd of 150 pro-Palestinian protestors standing in the middle of the intersection. Of the crowd, some carried roses, while others carried children on their shoulders — all chanting in unison for an end to the siege of Gaza.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and Chancellor of the State University System of Florida Ray Rodrigues ordered Florida universities to deactivate two state chapters of a national pro-Palestinian organization Tuesday, claiming the organizations show support for "Hamas terrorism."
Since the violence began two weeks ago, Clay Robinson said Palestinian and anti-Zionist voices have been largely neglected. Zionism is the Israeli national ideology that Judaism is both a nationality and religion and that Israel is an ancestral land that exists for the Jewish community.
Six students from UF Florida Student Policy Forum visited Tallahassee Oct. 18 during the legislature’s interim committee weeks to advocate an amendment to the state statute that would ban corporal punishment for students with disabilities and require parental consent for use of corporal punishment in all cases.
In Alachua County, the Hispanic community brings a variety of perspectives and beliefs to the importance of voting and political issues.
The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments Sept. 8 for the landmark case Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida v. State of Florida, which challenges the 15-week ban on abortion in Florida’s House Bill 5. Local and statewide reproductive health providers and advocacy organizations are leading efforts to offer women abortion care resources in the face of uncertainty.