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On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis continued to debunk the false narrative that the state of Florida bans books. Florida does not ban books, instead, the state has empowered parents to object to obscene material in the classroom. Still, some have abused this process to object to items including books about Johnny Appleseed, The Giver and even the Bible. Governor DeSantis is calling on the Legislature to finetune this process to prevent people from taking advantage of Florida law that is designed solely to remove inappropriate material from the classroom.

“Over the past year, parents have used their rights to object to pornographic and sexually explicit material they found in school libraries,” said Governor DeSantis. “We also know that some people have abused this process in an effort to score cheap political points. Today, I am calling on the Legislature to make necessary adjustments so that we can prevent abuses in the objection process and ensure that districts aren’t overwhelmed by frivolous challenges.”

To further streamline the parental objection process and shield districts from activism, Governor DeSantis:

  • Directed the Department of Education to take the appropriate action to prohibit bad actors in school leadership positions from intentionally depriving students of an education by politicizing the book review process.
  • Called on the legislature to enact policy that prioritizes parents’ voices by limiting bad-faith objections made by those who don’t have children learning in Florida.

“As the Education State, our focus is on academic excellence, not indoctrination,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “I am proud to stand with Governor DeSantis to ensure that Florida’s academic landscape remains rigorous and comprehensive and provides students with age-appropriate materials to help them achieve the highest academic success.”

See below for a Myth/Fact on the book review and objection process in Florida:

Myth #1

Myth 1The Florida Department of Education bans books.

Truth 1: The Department does not ban books. Each school district is responsible for ensuring all the materials in their schools adhere to state education standards.

Myth #2

Myth 2: Every book written is age-appropriate and has literary value for children.

Truth 2: This is a lie. Books with pornographic and sexually explicit material do not belong in school libraries accessible to children.

Myth #3

Myth 3: Dictionaries and thesauruses have been removed from classrooms.

Truth 3: This is ridiculous. No district in Florida has removed any dictionaries or thesauruses.

After the 2023 legislative session, Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 1069, which continued to strengthen Florida’s commitment to parental rights in education. The bill further outlined the process districts must create for parents and residents to have the ability to object to inappropriate materials in Florida classrooms. This process continues to give parents a voice and keeps our children from having access to sexually explicit materials.

The previous year, Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 1467 that requires school districts to provide transparency in the selection of instructional materials, including library and reading materials. This process protects children from indoctrination and gives parents the ability to see the materials their children have access to at school.

Author: Press Release

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