The Department of Education (DOE) opened a civil rights investigation into New College of Florida (NCF) Friday, according to a complaint.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed six new conservative members to the NCF board in January, and since their appointment they have overhauled the institution by moving to abolish the gender studies program and disbanded the diversity, equity and inclusion(DEI)office at the college.
The complaint filed by the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) claims that members of the board insulted students by misusing pronouns and allegedly denied an individual’s “gender identity,” which the complaint alleges violates civil rights law.
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“This is an outrageous attempt to subvert democratic governance and entrench left-wing ideological power under the guise of civil rights,” Christopher Rufo, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and NCF board member, tweeted.
“The Board’s actions have gone beyond the pedagogical. The Board also wants to change the culture and demographics of the student body. To this end, its selected interim President, and his newly-hired staff members have verbally attacked New College students, parents, and faculty, instituted discriminatory policies targeting LGBTQ+ students, and taken other actions overtly hostile towards New College students, faculty, and staff on the basis of race, gender, religion, and disability,” the complaint reads.
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The complaint alleges that Rufo misgendered the college’s former DEI director, who uses “ze/zir” pronouns.
The complaint also directly targeted DeSantis.
“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is attempting to change how race, gender, and sexual orientation are discussed in schools. He inveighs against the ideas that there is systemic racism in the United States and that gender and sex consist of more than a heterosexual, male-female binary. He has labeled these views ‘woke’ and said that his goal is to ‘make sure woke ideology ends up in the dustbin of history,’” according to the complaint.
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