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Ron DeSantis: Slapping an “Empowerment” Label on Fascism.

February 6, 2023

Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, is proud of micromanaging the selection of books Florida public school students may choose to read. Florida House Bill 1467 became law in July 2022. DeSantis sells this bill as instructional material “transparency”; however, many Florida teachers and librarians have stripped or covered their bookshelves for fear of being charged with a class-three felony if a public school student is exposed to a book that has not been vetted by a media specialist, librarian, or other personnel trained to filter out anything that could be “harmful to minors” because, among other issues, it “taken as a whole, is without serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” (Quite the path to travel to uncover this one statement: See here, which leads to here, which leads to here, which leads to here.)

What has happened is that in the name of “transparency,” DeSantis is fostering a culture of fear, as now, the word “pornography” has come to supplant even that which could have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

No doubt, DeSantis 451 is feeding off of teachers’ and other school staff and officials’ fearing being charged with “a felony of the third degree.”

Talk about a way to address a teacher shortage, as the February 02. 2023, notes:

Displaying or giving students a disallowed book, is a third-degree felony. A conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Some believe that in itself could drive away potential teachers.

“What concerns me more, is there’s already a teacher shortage. And if you’re going to have teachers operate under a cloud of fear, it’s certainly not going to encourage anyone to go into the field,” said David Godwin, an educator and president of Santa Rosa County Professional Educators.

DeSantis says he is doing all of this “as part of the Year of the Parent”— so long as “the parent” agrees with DeSantis’ overreaching, book-restricting fear-stoking in Florida’s understaffed public school classrooms, that is. As for you other parents, those who dislike the government reaching right into the public school classroom in order to micromanage your’ child’s choice of books– you’re out of luck. No “empowerment” for you.

Empowerment does not empty bookshelves.

Fear of a class-three felony sure does, though.

What DeSantis is doing is not empowering parents. He is simply slapping a “parental empowerment” label on fascism.

Ron DeSantis


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  1. Lisa McGeehee permalink

    Well maybe you need to stay in your own lane. Stuff he is not a fan of is what his constituents are not a fan of. Been following you for years and I agree with most of what you think. But sometimes you just need to sit down. And yes, I taught school for 26 years so I have some insight. Not a crazy parent.

    • And what to you is “my lane”?

      • Lisa McGehee permalink

        What happens in Florida is not our concern. Just got to worry about Louisiana.

      • I don’t think so, particularly when DeSantis is likely aiming for the 2024 presidency.

      • Lisa McGehee permalink

        Maybe. Could not be worse than what we have now. I lived in Delaware when he was there. There is so much baggage with this guy and his wife. You have no idea.

    • Threatened Out West permalink

      It’s ALL “our lane” because Florida ‘s terrible education laws get exported to many other states.

  2. Abigail Shure permalink

    Access to books is a cornerstone of education. I am a retired teacher in New Jersey and Florida’s path concerns me. We all need to be wary of attacks on freedom and democracy. Stay in your wide lane Mercedes.

  3. Linda permalink

    It’s “all our lane”- including Harvard and the state of Massachusetts.
    Check out the on-line curriculum vitae of Harvard Professor Martin West.
    Look at who gives him grants. Btw- John Arnold’s “philanthropy” is now called Arnold Ventures. West is on the Board of Mass. Elementary and Secondary Education

    Frederick Hess of AEI tweets at Martin West’s twitter feed about oligarchs, puppeteers and deal making (the allusion is to Russia).

    West is editor-in-chief of The Journal at Education Next.

    Where’s the origin of praise for parallel school systems? Is it the 2009 article found at, “Competition from private schools boosts achievement for both private and state schools”?

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