Today, Governor Ron DeSantis set the record straight, debunking the mainstream media, unions, and leftist activists’ hoax of empty library bookshelves and political theater pretending that Florida’s schools cannot teach about topics like African American History, including topics like slavery.
Governor DeSantis touted Florida’s high-quality standards for required instruction of African American History, extensive African American History educational requirements in state law that Governor DeSantis has successfully helped expand in recent years.
Governor DeSantis also displayed examples of books that have found in libraries and classrooms in 23 school districts across the state that contained pornographic content and other types of violent and age-inappropriate content.
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“Exposing the ‘book ban’ hoax is important because it reveals that some are attempting to use our schools for indoctrination,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “In Florida, pornographic and inappropriate materials that have been snuck into our classrooms and libraries to sexualize our students violate our state education standards. Florida is the education state, and that means providing students with a quality education free from sexualization and harmful materials that are not age appropriate.”
Myth: Florida schools have been directed to “empty libraries” and “cover classroom books.”
Fact: School districts are required to report the number of books removed from schools based on legislation passed in 2022. Of the 23 districts that reported removing materials, the most removed were tied at 19 in Duval and St. Johns Counties — not even close to a whole classroom library.
Of the 175 books removed across the state, 164 (94%) were removed from media centers, and 153 (87%) were identified as pornographic, violent, or inappropriate for their grade level.
Myth: Florida is banning children’s books about Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente.
Fact: Books found by parents in Florida schools:
- Gender Queer: A Memoir – an explicit, pornographic book showing sex acts.
- Flamer – a graphic book about young boys performing sexual acts at a summer camp.
- This Book Is Gay – a book containing instructions on “the ins and outs of gay sex.”
- Let’s Talk About It – a book that contains graphic depictions about how to masturbate for males and females.
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Myth: Florida has banned the instruction of African American History, including the discussion of slavery and the aftermath of slavery.
Fact: Under Governor DeSantis, instruction on African American History has only expanded. The Governor has signed legislation that ensures that Florida’s students learn about the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots in addition to requiring instruction on slavery, the Civil War, and Jim Crow laws.
Additionally, the following is required instruction on the history of African Americans in Florida statute:
- The history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery
- The passage to America
- The enslavement experience
- The history and contributions of Americans of the African diaspora to society
HB 7, signed in 2022, further expanded instruction of African American History to develop students’ understanding of the ramifications of prejudice and racism.
Myth: Florida teachers could be committing a 3rd-degree felony by having books on “certain topics” within their classrooms.
Fact: Florida has taken a stand against pornography and sexual material in the classroom. HB 1557 and HB 1467 further solidify Florida’s commitment to ensuring that content available in our schools is appropriate for students.
Statute 847.012 has been in law for many years and carries a felony penalty for the distribution of pornographic material to children.
Just days after the Republican governor’s communications team announced it was cutting off NBC News in February over a lie spread by reporter Andrea Mitchell, CBS News decided it would allow a similar falsehood in its Saturday morning show.
The broadcast featured a report by correspondent Michelle Miller on a children’s picture book, “Sulwe,” which features a little black girl as the main character.
Related News: Gov. DeSantis Cuts Off MSNBC Reporter Until She Gets The Story Straight
The conservative website Newsbusters.org described the report as fairly conventional until a footnote at the end.
“Sulwe has been banned in some Florida schools and might be banned statewide under the Stop Woke Act,” Miller claimed.
“[Vashti Harrison, the author] says it’s disappointing and upsetting, but she will continue to work on stories with diverse characters. The fact that Sulwe, a character, trying to find her identity and be okay with it would be banned because she’s a black character, she just couldn’t believe it, but these are stories for everyone.”
Miller offered no evidence the book had been banned.
Her reference seems to be actions taken in Jacksonville, where Duval County Public Schools officials told teachers to remove books if they were unsure if they complied with a new state law that prohibits books from elementary school libraries if they include pornography, instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3, or racial discrimination.
A “certified media specialist” must review the books to ensure compliance.
In January, the head of the anti-DeSantis teachers’ union in Duval County noted, “We’re telling our employees when in doubt remove the book.”
The problem for Miller is that Duval County has been rocked by two fake scandals over the library books issues.
Brian Covey, a substitute teacher at Mandarin Middle School in Duval County, was fired after it was determined he circulated a lie about an alleged book ban at the school.
Covey was canned after the school district and the company that supplies substitute teachers agreed that a video he posted on social media of empty library shelves, suggesting the school was banning every book, was a “misrepresentation” of the actual situation.
Duval County was the source of another fake narrative concerning a children’s book about baseball legend Roberto Clemente.
Liberals, including MSNBC’s Joy Reid, claimed the book had been banned in Florida.
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