Florida Students Stage Walkout in Protest of DeSantis’ Draconian Education Agenda

Image via Walkout 2 Learn

By Giselle Balido

April 21, 2023

As part of the protest, they registered to vote and pledged to use their votes to defend students’ rights.

Florida students from at least 300 high schools, every Florida HBCU, and 90% of Florida’s colleges, opted to skip class for part of Friday as part of Walkout 2 Learn, a youth-led statewide rally opposing the state’s anti-LGBTQ laws and crackdown on classroom lessons surrounding race.

As part of their walkout, the students attended a five-minute history lesson focusing on historic figures in Black and LGBTQ history, a clear rebuke of the state government’s censorship and erasure of race and gender identity in the classroom.

RELATED: 1 In 8 Florida High School Seniors Won’t Attend a State School Due to DeSantis’s Education Policies

They also registered to vote through an Active Pledge, which prompts those who sign it to register, and sends their pledge with their attached voter registration status to all of their representatives — from school board to Senate. Letters were sent to local school board members and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis pledging the students will use their vote to defend their rights. 

Several Democratic leaders supported Friday’s protest.

RELATED: ‘Terrifying’ and ‘Draconian’: DeSantis Bill to Reform College Education Could Destroy It

“Republicans…claim that they hate ‘cancel culture’,” Jacksonville Rep. Angie Nixon said. “However, they are literally the ones trying to cancel cultures. They’re trying to cancel our communities. They’re trying to cancel the ability for our students—our babies—to learn, to be taught true history, Black history, LGBTQ history, trans history, our history, American history.”

“[DeSantis] has completely taken over schools. We saw what happened at New College of Florida. He took away the entire board of trustees and put in a bunch of conservative far right lap dogs that agree with him,” Florida U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost told Floricua. “He’s using the power that the people who voted for him gave him, to silence people he disagrees with. And that’s not American. It’s literally the book definition of fascism.”



  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



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