Protesters Arrested After Entering DeSantis Office

Protesters stormed the office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) after he signed two new education bills into law. The activists were removed in handcuffs after refusing to leave.

At least a dozen activists were arrested Thursday at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee. The protesters entered the room, locking their arms and refusing to leave.

The police gave the protesters 20 minutes to leave, after which they were arrested and forced to leave the office. The protesters face a one-year ban from the Capitol and trespassing charges.

The assorted protesters arrived at the office after DeSantis signed a bill into law that prevents school officials and students from being forced to use personal pronouns that are different from a person’s birth gender.

The expansion of the Parental Rights in Education law states that “employees, contractors and students” of educational institutions would not be “required to use, from providing and from being asked to provide certain titles and pronouns.”

It also prevents students from “being penalized or subjected to certain treatment for not providing certain titles and pronouns.”

The new law also prohibits classroom instruction on “orientation or gender identity from occurring” between prekindergarten and the end of 8th grade.

School districts will be required to post “specific policies” on their websites and require districts to receive state Education Department approval for such gender and reproduction material.

The governor also signed a separate bill that bans the use of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs at colleges in the state.

The new law revises a number of college programs, disallowing public funds from being used for any “organization that discriminates on the basis of race, color, national origin” and other factors.

The program also bars funding for groups that engage in DEI practices “or promote or engage in political or social activism” as defined by the state.

The bill also prioritized building “civic discourse that recognizes the importance of viewpoint diversity, intellectual rigor and an evidence-based approach to history.”