(May 30, 2019 / JNS) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Wednesday barring anti-Semitism and other religious discrimination in the Sunshine State’s public schools.
The Florida state legislature unanimously passed the legislation in both chambers in April.
The law adopts the U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism and mandates that discrimination against Jewish people be considered similar to acts of racial discrimination in Florida’s public-education institutions.
“The bill sends a strong signal that Florida will not tolerate anti-Semitism, a cancer that continues to grow and threaten the fabric of society well beyond the Jewish community,” said the American Jewish Committee in a statement.
The political arm for the Israeli-American Council also applauded the law.
“Data indisputably shows that Jews are the most likely of all minority groups to be victimized by incidents of hate, and that anti-Semitism is continuing to rise at an alarming rate,” said IAC for Action’s director of policy and government affairs, Joseph Sabag, in a statement. “We are pleased to see that Jewish and Israeli Americans are not left to contend with incidents of anti-Semitic hatred alone.”
Jews are the most targeted for hate crimes among religious groups annually, according to the FBI.