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Tipsheet

DeSantis: It Sure Looks Like Leftists Are Removing Books From Classrooms, Then Trying to Blame Me

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

He's probably right, you know, and it would be very on-brand.  The teachers unions exist for the purpose of electing Democrats and self-enrichment, nothing else, so naturally they'd lie to try to a damage a politician whose leadership poses a clear and present danger to their selfish, anti-children, anti-science racket.  Look at what he's doing in Florida already; there's no doubt they want to limit the damage and contain his political career.  We covered the ludicrous "book ban" freakout, brought to you by the same people who brought you the "history erasure" freakout, brought to you by the same people who brought you the "don't say gay" freakout, brought to you by -- well, you get the point.  The law in question barred lewd, sexual, age-inappropriate material.  It made it a felony to provide pornography to minors.  That was twisted into a "fascist book ban," wherein certain schools and teachers performatively emptied their shelves of books, to create the perception that Dictator DeSantis had single-handedly destroyed reading, or whatever.  As we've noted previously, some officials in Florida districts are trying to set the record straight, against a blizzard of intentionally dishonest hysteria:

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In case you were curious, this is the sort of thing being kept away from grade school children under the policy (content warning -- I'm not sure you could show some of this on television without blurring):


Pushing back against a question on this front, DeSantis framed it this way:


More reality (compare this with the viral videos of emptied bookshelves):

An overwhelming majority of books removed from Florida schools since the beginning of the academic year in September 2022 were pornographic, violent, or inappropriate for students’ grade levels, according to school district data submitted to the state’s Department of Education. Twenty-three out of 56 school districts reported that they had removed a total of 175 books, while 33 districts (59%) said that they had not removed any books this academic year, according to data reviewed by The Daily SignalThe data reveals that 164 of the 175 removed books were taken out of school media centers, rather than classrooms, and 153 of the books that were removed (87%) were taken out because the district discovered that the book was “pornographic, violent or inappropriate for the grade level for some other reason.”

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The governor is also calling out what he sees as obvious, ridiculous and mendacious PR gamesmanship underway from ideological leftists in Florida schools:

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has accused teachers unions of ordering their members to pull benign books off school library shelves to falsely cast him and his supporters as racist, authoritarian zealots. DeSantis made the charge Tuesday after being asked about the removal of a book on Puerto Rican baseball great Roberto Clemente that detailed his experiences with racism. “That’s politics, though, to be honest with you,” the Republican responded. “Come on. We know — Roberto Clemente? I mean, seriously. That’s politics. “I think the school unions are involved with this,” DeSantis added to reporters. “I mean, you guys can FOIA some of these communications — I guarantee you, you’ll find some of that with the people that are doing it. So that’s a joke, OK?”...The governor alleged the chicanery is part of a larger attempt to stymie his efforts to block kids from accessing sexually explicit content and other inappropriate material. “You get something like that, about a baseball player — first of all, I don’t think parents are challenging that,” the governor said. “I think [teachers are] doing it unilaterally to try to create an issue, but that can be resolved in about two minutes … but none of these things — 99% of this stuff is, is manufactured, it’s not what you need to be spending time on.” DeSantis’ detractors have pointed to the removal of books on Clemente, fellow baseball legend Hank Aaron, and civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

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What seems to be happening, in reality, is that education bureaucrats with political agendas are proactively removing unobjectionable books -- effectively banning them for their students -- by choice, in order to make DeSantis look bad.  He's not mandating these actions, they're doing them on their own initiative, in service of a partisan narrative.  Speaking of which, here's a Biden administration official condemning the state's Parental Rights in Education Law, the central component of which is barring classroom instruction on sexuality and gender identity for K-3 students:


It appears as though this criticism is directed at the 'gag order' claim, which I directly asked DeSantis about during out extensive interview last year, and he said this spin on the law is untrue:

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It seems like there's a lot of energy being funneled into fear-mongering and phony outrage from Democrats and protectors of the teachers unions, who might want to focus instead on absolutely atrocious statistics like this, in jurisdictions they've dominated for decades:


They can't cry poverty either, as massive gobs of money have flowed to schools in recent years, out of COVID slush funds. School choice doesn't "starve" public schools. It gives poor families and kids a chance to escape the prisons of failing public schools. I'll leave you with this story out of Virginia, where a disgraced school board is trying to cover-up a cover-up.  I'd imagine Gov. Youngkin may be engaging in some of these local races later this year:

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