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Ron DeSantis shares wild conspiracy theory about classroom 'smugglers'

Florida’s governor, selling a new bill that aims to ban school lessons about inequality, claimed educators are “smuggling” inappropriate content to American students.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a fount of conspiracy theories. His latest? Public schools are plotting to smuggle “inappropriate content” to students to implant “leftist ideology” — and they must be stopped! 

There’s no evidence of this whatsoever, but that’s never prevented DeSantis from making absurd claims to rile up his right-wing base. This latest allegation came during an interview with Fox News host Mark Levin as DeSantis was selling the Stop WOKE Act, a new proposal that would allow parents to sue schools that teach “critical race theory,” the catchall term Republicans use to describe lessons about race, gender and social disparities. 

"They want these kids to hate this country," DeSantis claimed during the interview Sunday. "They want them to reject our founding, our institutions, and they want to replace that with their leftist ideology, which would obviously be disastrous for this country’s future. So the stakes are very high on that."

Under DeSantis, the Florida State Board of Education banned the teaching of critical race theory in public schools in June — even though critical race theory is a college-level field of study that was never part of Florida public school curricula.

DeSantis suggested Sunday that teachers could "defy" the rule.

“What if they’re doing it?” DeSantis asked Levin, before presenting the Stop WOKE Act as the solution.

Photo Illustration: Gov. Ron DeSantis claims that teachers are "smuggling" material into classrooms
MSNBC / Getty Images

The choice to allow parents to potentially sue schools into financial ruin over historically accurate lesson plans they don’t like is rather snowflake-y behavior, representing the kind of hypersensitive coddling Republicans like DeSantis claim they oppose. And the proposal isn’t just focused on curbing race-related lessons on inequality, DeSantis said.

"There’s a lot of other inappropriate content that can be smuggled in by public schools," he claimed. "And some parts of the country have it way worse than Florida in that regard."

Again, there’s no evidence of this. 

Plus, I don’t know if you’ve been to Florida, but trust me: Copies of "Beloved" or "The 1619 Project" would be the least illicit items smuggled into the state at any given time. Of course, DeSantis’ claims are detached from reality, and they exist only to increase his manipulative power over the conservative base. 

As someone with presumed presidential aspirations, DeSantis’ behavior here is a message to American conservatives far and wide: Roll with me and rest assured I’ll make legislation out of your right-wing hysteria. 

Watch a clip of DeSantis’ Fox News interview below:

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