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(15,888 posts)
Wed Jan 25, 2023, 03:33 PM Jan 2023

Sorry, Twitter, but Florida's war on books is no joke. Ron DeSantis wants to keep kids from reading

For those who are paying attention, it's been obvious for some time that Florida's mega-MAGA governor, Ron DeSantis, is aggressive with book bans because he would just prefer it if kids didn't read books at all. So while it was infuriating, it was not surprising to read that the investigative journalism team at Popular Info had discovered that teachers in Manatee County, Florida were told that every book on their shelves was banned until otherwise notified. Failure to lock up all their books until they could be "vetted" by censors, teachers were warned, put them at risk of being prosecuted as felons.

The facts of this situation are straightforward: A Florida law signed by DeSantis requires that every book available to students "must be selected by a school district employee who holds a valid educational media specialist certificate," in most cases, the school librarian. This may sound reasonable on its surface, but as the situation in Manatee County shows, in reality, it's about creating a bottleneck preventing books from getting into the hands of students. Even more importantly, it's about establishing the idea that books are inherently dangerous objects, to the degree that no student can be allowed to handle one without heavy-handed surveillance.

Moreover, even if the librarians in Florida are not themselves interested in being the reading police, they may feel they have no choice. DeSantis has made it quite clear what kinds of ideas he believes should be banned in the state of Florida. He doesn't want schools to acknowledge that LGBTQ people exist. He's banned the teaching of Black history classes on the grounds that lessons on people like Frederick Douglass or Rosa Parks, for instance, "have no educational value." He has been forcing schools to teach a lie, that racism is not the cause of racial inequality. With that level of pressure, it is no surprise that schools would simply err on the side of having few, if any, books available. If books return to the shelves, they may likely be heavily limited to those that portray the world like it's a 1950s sitcom, which pretty much guarantees they'll go unread, as such themes hold little interest to kids in 21st-century America.

When it comes to keeping kids from reading much, if at all, DeSantis' policy is a smashing success. He's established the idea that no student should ever be allowed to just grab a book and read on their own. He's stigmatized basic curiosity. Big Brother must always be watching, a reference kids probably won't get if "1984" is no longer a book readers can just pick up.

Sorry, Twitter, but Florida's war on books is no joke. Ron DeSantis wants to keep kids from reading (Original Post) icymist Jan 2023 OP
Is he a Father? Telling kids they can't do something only pwb Jan 2023 #1
I personally know a teacher who boxed up her classroom library. nt Phoenix61 Jan 2023 #2
they do more to keep books out of schools than they do guns* Skittles Jan 2023 #3
Ultimate ulterior motive: scarletlib Jan 2023 #4


(10,665 posts)
1. Is he a Father? Telling kids they can't do something only
Wed Jan 25, 2023, 03:40 PM
Jan 2023

makes them more curious even if they weren't before. This little Florida guy has no appeal among normal America.


(152,146 posts)
3. they do more to keep books out of schools than they do guns*
Thu Jan 26, 2023, 01:37 AM
Jan 2023

*I believe this was a MiddleAgedRiot tweet


(3,364 posts)
4. Ultimate ulterior motive:
Thu Jan 26, 2023, 08:09 AM
Jan 2023

Destroy public schools (“government schools”) in Florida and elsewhere. The Republicans want to ‘privatize’ education using charter schools, vouchers, etc.

Of course, on the bright side, they will have no control over curriculum in these new schools. So make sure you pick a good one for your kids.

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