Democrat U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, currently campaigning for governor in 2022, creating his own coalition of parents to support his campaign and take aim at “toxic politicization of our schools” and attack Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The group is called Parents for Crist, according to the former Republican Governor yesterday during a Zoom call.
“As Florida’s families, children and teachers suffer under a governor who continues his reckless and politically motivated attacks on our schools, Parents for Crist will serve as an advisory board and an organizing force for our campaign and our mission to deliver an education system that values and protects all Floridians young and old,” Crist said.
Crist said that the group will be “instrumental in helping to shape the education policy of the future Crist administration and end the toxic politicization of our schools that have left parents worried about their children.”
He did not announce particular policies that would achieve these goals, but highlighted teaching accurate history in classrooms and maintaining healthy school environments amid the COVID pandemic.
The reference to teaching history, known as Critical Race Theory, is a response to several efforts from the DeSantis administration to limit how the topic of race is discussed in Florida classrooms.
Crist is targeting Florida parents outraged over sending their students to school under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ COVID policies.
DeSantis signed legislation to ensure that parents had the right to mask their children or not, giving parents full autonomy over their child’s safety. This law was created before the surge of the highly-transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19.
Brevard County was one of eight school boards financially penalized by the state for placing a mask mandate on most students during the height of the delta variant surging through Florida earlier this school year.