Updated: Mar 31
Please write the school board members and ask them to be inclusive when they select books for the school library. Please ask them to be wary of the book banners who have been speaking during the school board meetings' public comment period.
Excerpts from this interesting article:
Eye witnesses claimed that book banner Baggett said that somewhere in the Bible it says that it is a sin for the races to mix. ... Baggett added that she was a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy, which has been designated as part of the Neo-Confederate movement.
Public schools are places where people should learn to get along, to meet and greet and learn empathy as well as to study science, math, English, critical thinking, life skills, and the ways of democracy.
Novels and movies can take us to a place we've never been and may never actually visit. They can help us develop empathy for people who are different from us. As the school board members go through the process of approving books for the school library as required by HB 1467, I hope they consider EVERY child and not get swayed by the book banners who have an agenda antithetical to the school board's job which is to make every neighborhood school great for every child. The movie Moonlight was not an easy movie for me to watch, but it gave me a glimpse into the life of a child who had a hard life that I couldn't imagine. It tells of a boy struggling with an addict mother and with being bullied by his classmates. Our school board members are making decisions for all the children in our public schools. I hope they have some empathy for the less fortunate, the neurotypical, and the atypical. I encourage the board members to watch the movie Moonlight to help them develop some empathy for a child who is not like them but who was in a public school.
As the school board continues to navigate the homophobic autocratic rulings from the Governor's bullying pulpit, I hope they have courage to be loving and kind. Keep in mind that heteronomative is a judgement statement by the homophobic on how they think the world should be and not how the world actually is. Heteronomative does not mean typical. The author, Ashley Berner, is promoting segregation rather than tolerance. What we need is for NO publicly funded school to be racist or homophobic or sexist. Excerpt from Ashley Berner's ridiculous article:
What if a robust body of research found that heteronormative schooling inevitably damaged children who were not heterosexual ...
Of course, heteronormative schooling would be harmful to non-heterosexual students just like racist schooling would be harmful to people of color. I dare say that heteronormative and racist and sexist schooling would be harmful to ALL children. That's why diversity is important: it teaches tolerance of differences. Heteronormative does not mean typical; it means that normal people are heterosexual. BUT in reality, it is normal to be homosexual for some people; to teach otherwise is bigotry.
Please urge the school board to allow books in the school library that represent all the kids.
References on which I based my opinion: 1. Excerpt from this article:
House Bill 1467 encourages parents or other residents to pursue the banning of school library books. These cases often target books about sexual identity and race. After HB 1467 went into effect, schools canceled book fairs and declined book donations – even dictionaries.
2. Excerpt from below link:
House Bill 1467 requires the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) to develop an online training program for all personnel involved in the selection and maintenance of library media collections. Beginning January 1, 2023, all personnel involved in selecting library materials must complete training developed by FDOE in order to select materials. No later than July 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, the superintendent of schools in each district must certify to the FDOE Commissioner that all school librarians and media specialists have completed this training. FDOE is currently seeking individuals for a workgroup to develop the online training program.
3. Review of Moonlight:
4. The workgroup met December 19th. This article was written before that meeting.
The work group developing the training includes members of the conservative group Moms for Liberty, who have aggressively voiced their concerns about the material children encounter at school. ... Critics of the law have argued that the measure is intended to cater to families whose politics align with Gov. Ron DeSantis ... A post on the Florida Freedom to Read Project’s website said, “Conservative parents currently have the ear of the governor. If the ‘Parents’ Rights’ movement is supposed to benefit all Floridians, we need to make sure they understand what our expectations are in their duty to honor and respect our parental rights,” ...One M4L member proposed that school librarians should avoid facilitating students registering to vote.
5. This Jerusalem Post article mentions how the book banning movement is affecting the Duval school district: https://www.jpost.com/j-spot/article-725105 6. In that Jerusalem Post article, the Duval schools say they are awaiting the training from the state. The state department of education has formed a Media Workgroup to develop training for school media specialists. Here's two blog posts about the Media Workgroup: https://accountabaloney.com/index.php/2022/10/15/stuck-on-porn-the-library-media-workgroup-decides-to-move-on/ https://accountabaloney.com/index.php/2022/12/18/hb1467-will-the-m4l-book-banners-get-the-last-word/ 7. One Media Workgroup member was recommended by Keith Flaugh. Keith Flaugh calls evolution and creationism "theories." The logical fallacy that Flaugh and his group used is called equivocation. Evolution is a scientific theory while creationism is either based on religious doctrine or a wild guess (depending on your point of view). I wouldn't trust anyone that he recommends. https://www.miamiherald.com/article225190045.html
Through his rhetoric and political actions on both LGBTQ+ and racial justice issues, he has used the power of his office to attack communities in Florida at the expense of Florida’s schools, students and families, and our First Amendment rights.