"Teach as I say or face prison" seems to be the new political slogan in Florida.
Florida schools' curriculums have been scrutinized under the administration of Republican governor Ron DeSantis, who claims to be actively fighting to defend parental rights.
Such rights include a ban on educating young children about gender, sexual orientation, and critical race theory. A new law went into effect that barred learning material unless it was considered appropriate by a librarian or "certified media specialist."
It seems like the Florida leadership read Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and thought it would be a good idea to recreate the events.
The Florida Censorship with a Twist
Teachers have criticized the new law.
Manatee County School instructors started physically covering up or removing books from their classrooms.
Manatee Education Association union president, Pat Barber, said, "We have people who have spent their entire careers building their classroom libraries based on their professional and educational experience and understanding of the age of the children they teach."
"Now, their professional judgment and training are being substituted for the opinion of anyone who wishes to review and challenge the books. We're focused on things that cause teachers to want to walk away from education because they can't focus on their mission of educating children," added Barber.
Your New Teacher in Chief
A teacher could face felony charges if he is proven to be violating these guidelines.
The revised guidelines for the Florida statute, HB 1467, specify that the books must not be pornographic material, suited to the student's needs and abilities to understand the information, and appropriate for the grade level and age range.
The Florida Department of Education's certified media specialists must undergo online training before they may assess whether the books comply with these standards.
The state's education department set a deadline of 1 July 2023 for "the superintendent of schools in each district must certify to the FDOE Commissioner that all school librarians and media specialists have completed this training."
What do you think about DeSantis' latest attack on education?
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