The effects of HB 1467 are being felt in Florida as counties are starting to comply with Governor Ron DeSantis’ law. It mandates that all books in classroom libraries must be approved by his administration.
Pat Barber, the president of the Manatee Education Association (the county’s teachers’ union), stated that the books can only be pre-approved materials or vetted by a media specialist who is trained by Florida’s Department of Education.
The most shocking stipulation of the law indicates that anyone who violates HB 1467 could be charged with a third-degree felony. Barber explained to CNN: “It’s unconscionable to me that teachers would be put in a position that their good deed of providing classroom libraries for their students in order to instill the love of reading could possibly result in a felony.”
The law took effect in July 2022. In addition, library media resources must be approved by a “school district employee who holds a valid educational media specialist certificate,” a June memo read.
According to Florida’s Department of Education, all materials have to be “free of Pornography,” “suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material presented,” and “appropriate for the grade level and age group.”
Earlier this week, DeSantis doubled down on his decision to reject a newly proposed AP course on African American history since he believes it promotes a “political agenda.”
“Now who would say that an important part of Black history is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids. When you use Black history to shoehorn in queer theory, you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis, who could possibly become the Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election, is hellbent on upholding oppressive practices that oppress people of color. Ben Crump has decided to sue DeSantis over his latest stunt and we hope he takes him for everything he’s got.