From curricula to library books to teachers themselves, queer expression and education in U.S. public schools are being slowly but surely outlawed. One of the most severe cases of this degeneration of rights is in Florida under the rule of perennial mess Ron DeSantis.
The governor signed what’s likely the country’s most notorious anti-LGBTQ curriculum bill into law last year, commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
This week, he doubled down on his disdain for LGBTQ+ education of any sort, referring to its inclusion as “indoctrination” and “a political agenda”.
This latest denouncement came after being asked why his administration had rejected the curriculum for an advanced placement African American Studies course.
The offending material? A section on “queer theory”:
“This course on Black History, what’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory!” he exclaims. “Queer theory” is the widely accepted academic name for the field of LGBTQ+ studies, so the way he managed to make it still sound like a slur is kind of amazing.
His next question to the room proved his lack of understanding of both Black and LGBTQ+ people, ignoring the existence of a whole category of humans in one sentence:
“Now who would say that an important part of Black History is ‘queer theory’?” he asks incredulously.
Let’s think for a moment! Would Martin Luther King Jr.’s close advisor Bayard Rustin say so? How about women like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith who helped create the genre of blues music? Do James Baldwin and Audre Lorde not exist in Black History to Florida?
This examination of the intersection of identities and how they interplay in culture and history is exactly the kind of knowledge DeSantis and co. want to keep from the nation’s youth.
“That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids,” he rails. “When you look to see they have stuff about intersectionality, abolishing prisons — that’s a political agenda. That’s the wrong side of the line for Florida standards.”
Discussing Black history without discussing the way Black people continue to be disproportionately incarcerated seems to also be a big no-no to the governor. Makes sense coming from the governor of the state with the third highest number of inmates in the country.
“When you try to use Black history to shoehorn in queer theory,” he continues, “you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes.”
Throughout all this attempting to cover up historical figures and contributions, he firmly asserts that he’s still here for “cut-and-dry history”.
“You learn all the basics, you learn about the great figures,” he contradicts. “I view it as American history. I don’t view it as separate history. We have history of a lot of different shapes and sizes.”
He closes by very vaguely advocating for the teaching of “people that have participated to make the country great and people that have stood up when it wasn’t easy.” The unabridged facts of who stood up and against what aren’t as important to him as making sure the LGBTQ+ community isn’t among them.
This is what DeathSantis and the republicans in the state want. They want to remove gays from the state. They want a white straight ethnostate. They want a maga paradise. The don’t say gay bills are not about instructing sexuality or gender identity it is about denying such things exist. Nan has asked if Ron and I would move out of Florida and the answer is yes we have talked about it for the last few years. As Florida has become more and more maga and intolerant we have talked about or options. Hugs
New research on LGBTQ parents in Florida found that a majority of those surveyed considered leaving the state over its controversial law restricting classroom instruction on LGBTQ issues before the fourth grade.
Nearly six out of 10 parents surveyed by the Williams Institute said that the enacting of the legislation commonly known as “Don’t Say Gay” led them to consider moving to a different state — while 17% have already taken steps to do so.
The research — released Tuesday by The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank that focuses on LGBTQ law and policy — also found that 11% of surveyed parents considered moving their child to a different school.
Analyzing data from 113 LGBTQ parents in the state, researchers found that nearly nine out of ten of them said that they were concerned about the effects of the legislation on their families and children.
They expressed concerns that the law would restrict them from speaking freely about their families, and as a result, it would affect their children’s sense of self and sense of safety and also create a hostile school climate.
“Legislation can have a negative impact on LGBTQ+ parent families by cultivating a climate of fear and insecurity,” said study author Abbie E. Goldberg, a professor of psychology at Clark University.
“For LGBTQ+ parents without the means to move or send their children to private schools, the stress that this legislation creates will be significant,” Goldberg added.
Surveyed parents reported that their children had already experienced a variety of consequences from the bill — including bullying and harassment because of their parents’ LGBTQ identities, fears about continuing to live in the state, and no longer having the ability to talk about their parents’ or their own LGBTQ identity at school.
“The Don’t Say Gay bill claims to be for parent rights, but my rights have been taken away since its passage,” one parent said. “My right to send my daughter to school freely, my right to live without fear of who I am, my right to not be discriminated against based on my sexual orientation, and my daughter to not be discriminated against based on her parents’ sexual orientation.”
Slammed by critics as “hateful,” “homophobic” and “transphobic,” HB 1557 was signed into law nearly a year ago by the state’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The much-publicized enacting of the legislation — a victory for conservatives in the state — sparked a dramatic increase in anti-LGBTQ vitriol on social media, as well as in-person protests against LGBTQ youth events in the state.
How silly and thin this excuse is. Somehow it will harm kids in a advanced placement college level course to know that some black people that deserved a place in history were gay or trans. Seriously the idea that these high school teenagers knowing that gay people did some great things is harmful to the students according to the right / republicans. Michelangelo was gay. The fact is gay kids need and deserve the positive affirmations of knowing they also can achieve great things. It is about seeing representation of ones self, but the right is terrified of nearly adult teens knowing that gay people have done some incredible things. That knowledge contradicts all the right wing ideology of how bad gay / trans people are, how they are low-life scum out that never achieve anything and always look for way to assault and rape the good straight people. This is again out of the Russian playbook that outlawed anything positive about gay people while the state constantly pushes the most negative harmful narratives. There are gay people in all walks of life and their sexual orientation is part of who they are. What the right wants to do is let kids assume that all people are straight, that all people in history that did something notable were straight is total right / republican indoctrination / ideology. As for the justice system being about more than prison and punishment again other developed countries have shown that if your prisons are not punitive hellhole but having reform with rehabilitation have shown that it cuts recidivism rates. Crime goes down, and you have less prison populations. But that would interfere with the for profit prsions incomes. Hugs
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said that his state recently rejected an advanced placement (AP) African American Studies course because of the course’s “indoctrination” of the “queer” agenda.
“We have guidelines and standards in Florida: We want education, not indoctrination,” DeSantis said during a news conference. DeSantis was asked why his state Department of Education had refused the course, which is currently being offered by the College Board in a pilot program at 60 schools nationwide.
DeSantis said that when he heard that the class didn’t meet the state’s educational standards, he figured the course involved critical race theory (CRT), a college-level curriculum about the effects of institutional racism throughout history.
“It’s way more than that,” DeSantis continued. “This course on Black history, what’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Now, who would say that an important part of Black history is ‘queer theory?’ That is someone pushing an agenda on our kids.”
Queer theory examines societal responses to non-heterosexual and non-cisgender identities. It’s an essential part of Black history both because of notable Black LGBTQ+ figures and the criminalization of Black sexual identities throughout history.
Nevertheless, DeSantis also criticized the course for having a “political agenda” because its current form includes content about intersectionality and abolishing prisons. Intersectionality examines how overlapping personal identities result in social privileges or disadvantages. Prison abolitionists want restorative justice and rehabilitation programs instead of just prisons.
“We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think, but we don’t believe they should have an agenda imposed on them,” DeSantis added. “When you try to use Black history to shoehorn in queer theory, you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes.”
Last Friday, Florida’s Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. wrote that the state had “rejected an AP course filled with Critical Race Theory and other obvious violations of Florida law.”
Specifically, the department said it objected to “the inclusion of readings from many major African American scholars, activists and writers, who explored subjects like Black queer studies, Black feminist literary thought, the reparations movement and intersectionality,” The New York Times reported.
Florida’s education department said it objected to readings from professor Angela Davis for being a “self-avowed Communist and Marxist”; professor Kimberlé Crenshaw “the founder of intersectionality”; and bell hooks for using language like “white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy.”
Though the College Board didn’t comment on Florida’s rejection, it noted that the course is still being revised based on feedback from African American scholars, the Times reported. The final framework of the course will be publicly posted before becoming widely available in U.S. high schools.
Critics have also pointed out that Florida high schools offer AP European History courses, which reinforce a narrative of predominantly white cultures colonizing and enslaving non-white countries in order to benefit capitalist and industrialist regimes.
It’s hardly surprising that DeSantis’s administration rejected the Black history course. Last year, he signed the Individual Freedoms Act (known as the Stop WOKE Act) which limits how racial issues are taught in public schools, public universities, colleges, and workplace trainings.
Last year, he also signed the Parental Rights in Education bill (known as the Don’t Say Gay law) which restricts teachers from acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ+ people in public schools. He worked with far-right media outlets and book-banning groups to help promote the law.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized Florida’s rejection of the course.
“These types of actions aren’t new… especially from Florida,” Jean-Pierre said. “Sadly, Florida currently bans teachers from talking about who they are and who they love.”
“They didn’t block AP European history. They didn’t block our music history. They didn’t block our art history. But the state chooses to block a course that is meant for high achieving high school students to learn about their history of arts and culture,” she continued. “It is incomprehensible.”
According to the College Board, the pilot version of the AP African American Studies course will expand to hundreds of additional high schools in 2024. The final course will be offered in schools that same year, with the course’s first exams being offered in Spring 2025.
Do you know why safe spaces were created? It started with building or businesses such as fire stations or restaurants that scared abused kids could go into and tell an adult what was wrong. Kids walking home from school or walking in an area that were approached by gangs, drug dealers, or the threat of harm / abuse could rush to these places. The idea worked so well it was expanded into schools and other places. In this case the complaining parents claimed it discriminated against non-LGBTQ+ kids. Straight white kids wouldn’t have a safe space those parents shouted. But really all kids know that a teacher will protect a straight white kid, it is the black kids when in the minority and the gay / trans kids that need to know they are safe. The straight black kids and white straight kids can just assume that the staff would protect them but that assumption is not something that gay / trans / non-binary kids have. They don’t assume an authority figure will support them because so many authority figures actively speak badly of them. So they need a sign to tell them if harassed, threatened, abused come here for help or safety. Some parents cannot stand that LGBTQ+ kids are not allowed to be bullied, harassed, picked on, and harmed especially if their kids are disciplined for being the ones doing it. Yes bigoted parents can produce bigoted kids and parents of these kids hate rules protecting the kids their kids like to beat up. As I have reported one of the co-authors / sponsors of the Florida don’t say gay bill admitted that he was angry that gay kids coming out were accepted and not too frightened of harm to come out at all. He was upset these gay kids were not targets for abuse and harm. That is the mind set of people that want to get rid of safe spaces. Notice that the attack on these safe space stickers are driven by the right wing hate machine that calls them indoctrination. The idea of tolerance, kindness, and not harming others is somehow thought to be a harmful ideology by the right. Their own ideology says attack anyone who is different until everyone is just like us. Do we want that taught to kids who grow up and teach it to their kids? And again letting kids know that gay people exist is indoctrination by these people, well I guess telling kids about any reality is indoctrination then. Seriously is there a harm that kids know there are gay people? Is there a harm that kids know there are left handed people or red haired people also? Kids know that there are gay people, it doesn’t make them gay just as kids knowing that there are straight people doesn’t make all kids straight. Hugs
A middle school in New Jersey has removed rainbow-themed “safe zone” signs from its campus. Superintendent Peter Turnamian announced the change at a January 3 board of education meeting.
The LGBTQ+-affirming signage at Long Valley Middle School, in place since 2019, was the result of a student-led effort at inclusiveness. Recent complaints by parents led Turnamian, superintendent for the Washington Township School District, to consult with district lawyers.
“Ultimately, the advice of legal counsel was to have them come down,” Turnamian said of the signs. Lawyers characterized parents’ concern over favoritism as “appropriate criticism.”
The superintendent unveiled plans for a “Profile of a Panther” initiative to replace the safe zone signs, using the school’s mascot to “encourage kindness” among the school’s sixth- to eighth-grade students. Plans for the initiative would be developed with feedback from the community, said Turnamian.
The change marks a victory for parents who lobbied for the signs’ removal. A months-long campaign at school board meetings in the rural township in southern New Jersey brought out residents on both sides of the issue.
“School should be a safe space for all kids, not just some kids,” newly elected school board member John Holly said at the meeting in early January. “Is this just a convenient way to push ideology on kids?” he asked, speaking of the rainbow-themed signage.
One meeting attendee recalled for board members that students were responsible for establishing the safe zone signs.
“There aren’t any kids that are talking about how this is harmful to them,” she said.
A self-identified lesbian and genderqueer student at Long Valley was applauded at a December board meeting: “I can say the LGBTQ+ community is constantly bullied and belittled in our school system. The safe zone rainbow stickers let kids like me know that they are not alone despite their differences. The signs are not hurting anybody, and they are not imprinting on your children. They only promote love and accepting yourself for the way you are.”
“The removal of LGBTQ+ affirming materials from schools is downright shameful. LGBTQ+ students across the country are already facing relentless attacks from legislators, and they deserve — at minimum — to feel safe in the classroom,” said GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers. “We’re so thankful for our educators who create inclusive, affirming environments for their students despite hateful opposition from those who seek to erase and silence LGBTQ+ people. There is no place for discrimination in the classroom, and we will continue to fight for representation and visibility of LGBTQ+ communities in all schools across the country.”
Rainbow flags, stickers, and other LGBTQ+-affirming materials have been under attack at schools across the country recently. Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law has had a chilling effect on students’ and teachers’ speech, with rainbow imagery removed from classrooms by school administrators, or preemptively taken down by teachers in fear of losing their jobs.
In September, Proud Boys showed up at a school board meeting in Missouri to protest the display of a small rainbow flag by a seventh-grade teacher after an alderman demanded in a Facebook post that the district “stop indoctrinating and grooming our kids!” In the same month, Bucks County in Pennsylvania banned all rainbow imagery and other “advocacy materials” in classrooms.
The truth is DeathSantis and his ilk want to erase the LGBTQ+ and insure that only straight white Christians are the default and the only acceptable representation in society. They do not want inclusion, diversity, or even the tolerance of others different from them. This is about having the white straight homogenous society they think the 1950s had where white straight men were just assumed to be in charge having all the authority and say in society while those who were not straight white men were expected to know their place or not be seen in decent society. Ask why the republicans and the right wing media are so against general respect for others that are different from them? Not talking acceptance, but the right / republicans are going full speed on not even showing respect for anyone or anything different from them. They have shown they can not tolerate much less respect anyone who has political differences from them. They attack in mass anything said by a democrat regardless of what it is. They have become so tribal that they will soon attack those with different hair colors in their own groups. They make a mockery of the term land of the free. This is a great short read. I ask how just letting kids know there are gay kids, gay people, and same sex families with children is sexualizing them but letting kids know that straight kids, straight people and opposite families is not sexualizing kids? That makes no sense. Gay or straight are still sexual orientations that exist and are legal. If reading about two boys or two girls holding hands is indoctrination so is reading about a boy and girl holding hands. Hugs
By his own admission, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has attempted to prevent residents, schools, and corporations in Florida from becoming actively attentive to important societal facts and issues – especially issues of racial and social justice. This is clear in his rhetoric and support surrounding the state’s so-called “Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (W.O.K.E.) Act.”
In addition to demonizing Latinx and Black immigrants coming from the U.S. southern border and using their bodies as props to promote himself and his far-right agenda, DeSantis and Republicans in the state legislature passed the Stop W.O.K.E act to supposedly provide businesses, employees, children, and families the legal means of opposing alleged “woke indoctrination.”
The bill bans the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other discussions around the country’s racial history in schools, and it also bans diversity and inclusion training in corporations.
During his second inaugural address on January 3, DeSantis declared, “We reject this woke ideology. We seek normalcy, not philosophical lunacy. We will not allow reality, facts, and truth to become optional.” And then he pledged, “We will never surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die.”
In his statement and actions, DeSantis is not allowing reality, facts, and truth to enter the public sphere.
DeSantis is not only criminalizing discussions of race and racism, but he is also preventing Florida residents from actively attending to important facts and issues of sexuality and gender as well.
On Tuesday, June 7, 2022, a large van from the Broward County Florida public school department drove up in front of the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Fort Lauderdale. In the van, Broward County school officials had filled boxes of children’s books on LGBTQ+ themes taken from county classrooms and school libraries for donation to the museum.
While county officials claimed the donations were the result of their attempts to clear shelves and office space for the accumulation of other subject matter, it is no mere coincidence that Florida’s so-called “Parental Rights in Education” law, referred to by opponents as the Don’t Say Gay law, was to take effect weeks later on July 1, 2022.
Passed primarily by Republicans in the state legislature and signed into law by DeSantis, the new law reads in part: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Florida has positioned itself at the tip of the spear to cut and bleed to death school curricular materials on topics of race, gender, and sexual identity, but most schools, as reproductions of the larger society, function on an overarching system of racism, heteronormativity, and other forms of oppression.
A December 2022 progressive political panel in Denver titled “Straight White American Jesus” (after Podcast of the same name) focused on the topic of white Christian nationalism in the United States. Speakers discussed the major components of Christian nationalism: “innocence” in history and “purity culture.”
Sara Moslener, a lecturer in religion at Central Michigan University, asserted that these concepts of “innocence” and “purity culture” are often located in white Christian nationalism, stemming from colonial history when whiteness was coupled with freedom and innocence.
“The innocence that is connected to white racial identity has been a… delusion that has worked really well in giving white people a sense of specialness, a sense of ‘we have something in common with one another,’” she said. “There is this sense that we are innocent of all of these things, and white Christian nationalism says: Well, this was all part of God’s plan.”
Moslener continued by explaining the concept of “purity culture,” taken from conservative evangelical Christianity, which opposes abortion rights and homosexuality and adheres to traditional gender roles and sexual abstinence before marriage for women. She claimed that this is also foundational to Christian nationalism. This “purity culture,” is mainly about “evangelicals gaining political power.”
“White Christian Nationalism is steeped in myths of national innocence and this idea that the founding of the United States was a God-anointed beginning,” Moslener said. And this is connected as a movement by a unified commitment to a social order of a shared theology of family, and a shared perception of gender roles, sexuality, and gender expression.
Katherine Stewart, an investigative journalist and author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism who was also on the panel said of Christian nationalism, “It’s not a single religion, it’s both an ideology – a set of ideas — and it’s also a political movement – an organized quest for power.”
“Many politicians have tried to ally themselves with this ideology to promote it,” Stewart said, citing Ron DeSantis, who identified himself with this ideology to gain votes in his political campaigns, and now it seems in his quest for the White House.
So, as DeSantis and the growing number of politicians and state and national conservative caucuses push for similar “anti-WOKE,” “anti-CRT,” and “anti-LGBTQ+” regulations and laws in the schools, as well as restrictions on diversity and inclusion discussions in businesses, their not-so-hidden agenda is intended to bring the nation closer to the patriarchal white Christian nationalist ideals attempted in other Fascist movements.
Power-hungry autocrats understand that an informed awake populace increases the chances of mass challenges to their authority, as history has clearly shown. But if the white power structure can severely restrict and downgrade the education of people they deem outside this structure – people of color, non-Christians, non-cisgender, and non-heteronormative individuals – then they believe their domination will be assured.
However, allowing free and age-appropriate discussions of the “hard” history connected to race and racism unmasks this Christian nationalist myth of “white innocence.” And free and age-appropriate discussions of topics around sexuality and gender knock out of the water the propagation of their invention of some sort of “purity culture” destined by God.
Anti-wokeness is anti-awareness, and that is DeSantis’ intent.
Teachers in Manatee County, Florida, are being told to make their classroom libraries — and any other “unvetted” book — inaccessible to students, or risk felony prosecution. The new policy is part of an effort to comply with new laws and regulations championed by Governor Ron DeSantis (R). It is based on the premise, promoted by right-wing advocacy groups, that teachers and librarians are using books to “groom” students or indoctrinate them with leftist ideologies.
Kevin Chapman, the Chief of Staff for the Manatee County School District, told Popular Information that the policy was communicated to principals in a meeting last Wednesday. Individual schools are now in the process of informing teachers and other staff.
Teachers in Manatee County lamented the news on social media. “My heart is broken for Florida students today as I am forced to pack up my classroom library,” one Manatee teacher wrote on Facebook.
Another Manatee teacher called the directive “a travesty to education” that interfered with efforts to “connect with books and develop [a] love of lifelong learning.”
In an interview with Popular Information, Chapman said that the policy was put into place last week in response to HB 1467, which was signed into law by DeSantis last March. That law established that teachers could not be trusted to select books appropriate for their students. Instead, the law requires:
Each book made available to students through a school district library media center or included in a recommended or assigned school or grade-level reading list must be selected by a school district employee who holds a valid educational media specialist certificate, regardless of whether the book is purchased, donated, or otherwise made available to students.
In Florida, school librarians are called “media specialists” and hold media specialist certificates. A rule passed by the Florida Department of Education last week states that a “library media center” includes any books made available to students, including in classrooms. This means that classroom libraries that are curated by teachers, not librarians, are now illegal.
The law requires that all library books selected be:
1. Free of pornography and material prohibited under s. 847.012.
2. Suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material presented.
3. Appropriate for the grade level and age group for which the materials are used or made available
Chapman says that school principals in Manatee County were told Wednesday that any staff member violating these rules by providing materials “harmful to minors” could be prosecuted for “a felony of the third degree.” Therefore, teachers must make their classroom libraries inaccessible to students until they can establish that each book has been approved by a librarian.
In response to the policy, some teachers packed up their classroom libraries. Others covered up the books students are no longer allowed to read with construction paper.
Restoring student access to classroom libraries is a complex process. First, someone must cross-check each book in their classroom library with the district library catalog. If the book is available in the district libraries, that means it was approved by a media specialist and can be made available to students again. But any book not currently held in the district libraries must be individually evaluated and approved by a librarian.
And that’s just the beginning. Materials prepared for an upcoming Manatee County School Board meeting include a 21-point list of procedures to ensure that classroom libraries comply with the new rules.
As a result, one Manatee teacher reported being forced to take Sneezy the Snowman and Dragons Love Tacos off the shelves pending review. Other teachers, fearing criminal liability, are telling students not to bring in “unvetted” books from home:
Chapman said he was not aware of teachers being told specifically to prohibit students from bringing books from home but, as a policy, “all materials we use in a classroom are all state approved.”
One high school teacher in Manatee County told Popular Information that they would not comply with the new policy. The teacher has spent the year carefully curating books donated by parents or sourced from their personal collection. “I’m not taking any books out of my room,” the teacher said. “I absolutely refuse.” The teacher spoke on the condition of anonymity, fearing that speaking out about the policy could put their job at risk.
Librarians in Manatee County are now expected to review thousands of books in classroom libraries to ensure compliance with the new law. Manatee County has 64 public schools and 3,000 teachers, many of whom maintain classroom libraries. Chapman said that every school in Manatee County has a media specialist but that the process could take a while because it is “one person” and “they are human.” Any book approved for K-5 students must also be included on a publicly available list.
Similar policies will be implemented in schools across Florida. Some Florida schools do not have a media specialist, making the process even more cumbersome.
That review must also be consistent with a complex training, which was heavily influenced by right-wing groups like Moms For Liberty and approved by the Florida Department of Education just last week. Any mistake by a librarian or others could result in criminal prosecution. This process must be repeated for any book brought into the school on an ongoing basis. But librarians and teachers are not being provided with any additional compensation for the extra work.
Stephana Ferrell, a co-founder of the Florida Freedom to Read Project, said the new policy followed “a pattern of fear-based decisions that prioritize staying in good favor with the Governor over doing the right thing for our students.” Ferrell said she blamed “the Florida Board of Education that passed this rule change last Wednesday without an ounce of consideration for its impact.” Now, “thousands of students are without classroom access to fun and engaging literature.”
Ironically, Manatee County is making thousands of books inaccessible to students just in time to celebrate “Literacy Week” in Florida, which runs from January 23 to 27. Only about 50% of students in Manatee County are reading at grade level.
“Err on the side of caution”
Popular Information asked Chapman if Manatee County librarians and teachers were expected to remove books that violated the Parental Rights In Education Act, known by critics as “Don’t Say Gay” or the Stop WOKE Act, which limits classroom discussion of racial issues. Chapman did not answer the question directly, saying only that librarians are expected to apply the “specialized training for media center specialists” approved last week by the Florida Department of Education. That training, Chapman says, includes “new definitions of inappropriate material.”
The Parental Rights In Education Act prohibits all instruction on “sexual orientation or gender identity” in K-3 classrooms and instruction in other grades that is “not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.” But the law applies only to “[c]lassroom instruction by school personnel or third parties” — not library books. Similarly, the Stop WOKE Act is limited to classroom instruction.
The teacher training approved by the Florida Department of Education, however, does not inform librarians that the Parental Rights in Education Act and Stop WOKE ACT do not apply to library books. Rather, librarians are told: “There is some overlap between the selection criteria for instructional and library materials.” One slide says that library books and instructional materials cannot include “unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination.”
A subsequent slide provides a list of “unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination,” which includes information about “sexual orientation or gender identity.” It also includes a variety of topics related to race, including “Critical Race Theory” and material that might make someone feel “guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress” as a result of their race. The training instructs librarians to “err on the side of caution.”
As Popular Information reported earlier this month, Manatee County schools have already removed several books from school libraries because they contain LGBTQ characters or themes.
This interpretation of the law runs directly counter to the arguments the DeSantis administration is making in court. In federal court filings, lawyers representing DeSantis insist that the Parental Rights in Education Act does not apply to library books. Nevertheless, the DeSantis administration, through its media specialist training, is encouraging a much more expansive interpretation of the law.
Please notice the similarities of what the Nazis did with what DeathSantis and the republican leaders in red states are doing now with the don’t say gay laws. The Nazis started with getting rid of the literature and any gay positive news or newspapers. They made laws restricting and outlawing gay meeting places just like the red states are doing with drag queen shows. Also they made gay associations and gay supporting groups to disband and forbid them from existing just like in Florida where no gay straight alliance clubs can now be formed in schools supporting the gay / LGBTQ+ kids. There is so much more in the video that shows how DeathSantis and his advisors are following the Nazi play book to eliminate the LGBTQ+ community, to rid the state of the gay and trans people. Such as using thugs called Brown Shirts to attack and scare gay establishments which reminds me of the Proud Boys gangs. Arresting and stopping events claiming they were preventing crime and if they got a gay person in the arrests or anyone with any public indecency in their record they made a big deal of making an example of them, claiming the need to protect the public and the children. One of the reasons that the Nazis hated the gays was they did not produce Aryan children which was the goal of the movement. Similar to the current white nationalist / Christian nationalist that claim that same sex marriage is not a true marriage and that same sex families are not real because same sex couples can not produce offspring. In their minds there is not enough white kids being born. Please note the same things said about homosexuality then are the same things said about gays today by republicans, including what the religious evangelicals today say about same sex marriage not producting children. Hugs
Florida rejected a proposed Advanced Placement course focused on African American Studies because it included study of topics like the Movement for Black Lives, Black feminism and reparations, according to a list of concerns provided to CNN on Friday by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office.
The state also said the course framework for the study of reparations – the argument to compensate Black Americans for slavery and other historical atrocities and oppressive acts – includes “no critical perspective or balancing opinion in this lesson.”
The state Department of Education on January 12 informed the College Board, the organization that oversees the Advanced Placement program, that the course violated state law and rejected its inclusion in Florida schools.
Read the full article.