Media Contact

ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2717

February 24, 2022

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, the Florida House passed House Bill 7 (HB7), which would censor protected speech in classrooms and workplaces. The bill forms part of the nationwide trend attempting to ban teaching inclusive concepts in schools and workplaces, including race and gender discrimination topics. The bill would also allow employees to file discrimination claims against an employer engaging in such training or discussions.

Kirk Bailey, political director at the ACLU of Florida, responded to the vote with the following statement: 

“Florida politicians want to restrict private employers’ and students’ free speech rights. 

“Under HB 7, students' fundamental right to learn will be restricted, and they will suffer the consequences of being unable to learn historical facts regarding the lived experiences of Black people and other marginalized communities in our country. Workplaces will be banned from providing diversity and inclusion training, which has played a significant role in creating more welcoming work environments for so many Floridians. This form of historical erasure and censorship is a threat to everyone. 

“Banning discussions of systemic racism is systemic racism. The erasure of American history and vital training that acknowledges the stories of Black and Brown people in this country is antithetical to our shared American values.  

“Students and employees have the right to receive an inclusive and accurate education and training. To censor their ability to learn and discuss topics relating to race and gender discrimination denies them their First Amendment rights to share ideas, including the right of listeners to receive information and knowledge. 

“Floridians should not be used as political pawns. An inclusive American history, however uncomfortable it may be for some, is an honest reflection of our nation’s past, and it must be represented accurately, or we run the risk of repeating it.”