Gov. DeSantis cries foul over civil rights probe into New College
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 1/3/23- Gov. Ron DeSantis after taking the oath of office for his second term, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'You've got to be kidding me.'

Florida’s Governor isn’t holding back when it comes to a civil rights probe into New College, likening it to a probe of the state of Florida itself.

During an interview on “The Ingraham Angle,” Gov. Ron DeSantis took issue with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opening “a civil rights investigation against the state of Florida, one of our colleges: New College of Sarasota.”

“I appointed conservative trustees. They reoriented the university from being left of the left to being classical education like Hillsdale,” DeSantis told Laura Ingraham.

“And they did things like abolish the gender studies department and they’re now opening up a civil rights investigation against one of our trustees, Chris Rufo, because he misgendered one of the fired employees or fired professors,” DeSantis added. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

In an article for City Journal, Rufo suggested there was more to the “disability discrimination” complaint than that.

Rufo writes that allegedly “the college’s trustees and administrators violated civil rights law by removing ‘gender neutral’ signage from bathrooms, defunding the DEI and gender studies programs, and ‘misgendering’ the former DEI director and a former student, who use ‘ze/zir’ and ‘they/them’ pseudo-pronouns, respectively. According to the complaint, these actions constitute discrimination ‘based on perceived disability and gender prejudice.'”

“They’re basically saying that there’s a civil right to have things like gender studies and pronouns in our colleges and universities. No one would have thought that was possible even five years ago,” DeSantis said on Fox News.

As reported by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the letter to New College President Richard Corcoran says the Department of Education is seeking to probe whether the school “excluded qualified persons with disabilities from participation in, denied them the benefits of, or otherwise subjected them to discrimination in its programs, activities, aids, benefits, or services.”

DeSantis made it his mission to transform the school, replacing the board with cultural conservatives, who installed former House Speaker Richard Corcoran as Interim President.

Earlier this year, the Governor spoke at Michigan’s Hillsdale College where he pledged to turn it into a “little Hillsdale.” He has made colorful comments about the school often in recent months, including saying it was “left of the left” and “like a commune” earlier this year at a homeschooling convention.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • My Take

    September 11, 2023 at 9:22 pm

    At DeSSlimeis’ direction his new team of stooges is converting a high-performing progressive college into a fascist madrassa.

  • Sandra from Naples

    September 12, 2023 at 2:34 am

    To the best of my recollection, New College has been since at least 1967, when I first visited the campus. I know many changes have occurred over the years as with all schools. But DeSantis’ agenda to remove all things gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or anyone else who doesn’t conform to his beliefs, has got to be addressed and stopped. This is no way to live. This school and its students have enjoyed a quiet, under-the-radar and peaceful atmosphere on a beautiful campus for decades until DeSantis decided it didn’t comply with his “”Woke” agenda. So he replaced the administration with his cronies, similar to what he did with the Disney Reedy Creek District Board. And on and on he goes. I hope whatever the school does, they win. They should file multiple lawsuits against him for what he’s done to this once lovely teaching institution.

    • Michael K

      September 12, 2023 at 6:13 am

      Well said. Sadly, New College is the blueprint for the future all all public education in Florida under DeSantis and his Republican sycophants.

      I applaud those who are fighting back to stop this madness.

    • DEBRA

      September 12, 2023 at 11:38 am

      Perfect. Well said!!

  • FU DeathSantis

    September 12, 2023 at 7:31 am

    No DeathSantis. This is your white nationalist Indoctrination. ABCDEFU.

    • David

      September 12, 2023 at 8:43 pm

      What a nonsensical statement. Ignorance should disqualify one’s right to vote.

      • David Young

        September 13, 2023 at 10:44 am

        His comment is straight forward and HONEST!

        Desantis IS a Christian Nationalist FASCIST

        This IS NOT the American Way

        And the Concept of White Washing Slavery so some extremely stupid parents don’t have to answer REAL QUESTIONS from their Children!

        it IS Not the Job of Government to protect the fools from Society, it IS their Job to Protect SOCIETY from the FOOLS!

        Bring Back the Asylums and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

  • MH/Duuuval

    September 12, 2023 at 8:45 am

    Hillsdale doesn’t’t take public money, so their exact student and faculty demographics are not known. What is clear is that these are preponderantly white and Christian. Ron adds to the white-bread mix a leavening of jocks — the ultimate affirmative action babies.

Comments are closed.


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