Civil liberties defenders on Wednesday decried yet another bill passed by Florida’s GOP-controlled Legislature attacking academic freedom, while calling on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to take the unlikely step of vetoing the measure.
S.B. 266 would require Florida’s Board of Education and its state university system’s board of governors to establish faculty committees tasked with reviewing and, if deemed necessary, rejecting or adjusting all general education courses.
A anonymous Manatee County, Florida middle school teacher shared this photo of a covered classroom library with students’ demands to “Free the Books” and another sign designating a “safe zone” for in the event of a shooting. (Photo: Tamara Solum/Facebook)
Teachers in at least one Florida county this week began removing or covering books in their classrooms to avoid running afoul of a new law requiring every volume to be vetted by a state-trained “media specialist”—violation of which could result in felony charges.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports the Manatee County School District has directed teachers to remove all books that have not been approved by a specialist, who will ensure that all titles are “free of pornography,” are “appropriate for the age level and group,” and contain no “unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination.” Continue reading →
“If Florida truly believes we live in a post-racial society, then let it make its case,” a federal judge wrote in blocking part of the controversial law. “But it cannot win the argument by muzzling its opponents.”
Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2021 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Stop WOKE Act suffered a two-punch blow Thursday as a federal judge blocked parts of the controversial law and a coalition of civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit against what they are calling “racially motivated censorship.”
Every Black member of the Mississippi state Senate walked out of the legislative chamber in protest on Friday as the Republican-led body passed a bill critics say will ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, from kindergarten through college.
S.B. 2113—titled Critical Race Theory, Prohibit—passed by a vote of 32-2 as 14 Black lawmakers filed out of the Senate chamber. Two white Democratic senators—David Blount (District 29) and Hob Bryant (District 7)—remained in the chamber to vote against the measure. Continue reading →
One critic called the proposal, which describes green investment policies as a form of “energy discrimination,” a “desperate attempt by fossil fuel companies and their lobbyists to maintain their profits.”
Marathon Petroleum’s Los Angeles Refinery in Carson, California, Photo: Marathon Petroleum
Progressives are sounding the alarm about a recently launched right-wing campaign that seeks to preempt green investment policies throughout the United States by portraying the financial sector’s potential turn toward clean energy as discriminatory—and introducing legislation that would punish banks and asset managers for divesting from fossil fuels.
Two prominent national civil rights groups on Tuesday blasted efforts by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and state Rep. Matt Krause—both Republicans—to compel school districts to censor hundreds of books, including many popular LGBTQ+, reproductive rights, and racial justice titles, following the passage of laws prohibiting the teaching of the racist history of the United States and banning transgender athletes from interscholastic athletics.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. issued a statement condemning “Texas politicians’ efforts to force schools to begin pulling books from their classrooms and libraries shelves under the guise of state law.” Continue reading →
A new report published Wednesday reveals how the Koch network—a shadowy group of wealthy capitalists acting to push the U.S. in a more conservative direction—is methodically working to undermine and privatize public education for financial gain.
The report (pdf), entitled The Koch Network and the Capture of K-12 Education, was compiled by the advocacy groups UnKoch My Campus and Save Our Schools Arizona (SOSAZ) and examines tactics employed by the plutocrats’ cabal—which is led by billionaire Charles Koch, and whose members pay at least $100,000 per year—”to destabilize and abolish public education.” Continue reading →