New teacher training about choosing books includes felony warning
Schoolgirl choosing book in school library. Smart girl selecting literature for reading. Books on shelves in bookstore. Learning from books. School education. Benefits of everyday reading. Child curiosity. Back to school

Schoolgirl choosing book in school library. Smart girl selecting literature for reading. Books on shelves in bookstore. Learning from books. School education. Benefits of everyday reading. Child curiosity. Back to school
House Subcommittee hears report of new parental rights law's implementation.

New training for the state’s public schoolteachers comes with the caution that choosing the wrong books could result in third-degree felony charges, a House subcommittee heard on Wednesday.

The new training is the result of a law (HB 1467) passed last regular Session that revised the rules governing the selection of library and classroom materials. The Education Quality Subcommittee was briefed Wednesday on the new training that 2,300 educators have so far received because of the new law that Gov. Ron DeSantis hailed as a victory for parental rights.

Paul Burns, chancellor of public schools for the state Department of Education, said including the mention of “felony” in the training does not necessarily mean teachers are being targeted.

“That was just the spirit of making sure that we had a comprehensive and thorough training so that all of our educators understood the requirements,” Burns said. “Parental rights are very important in Florida.”

The mention of a crime in the training has sparked concern, however, particularly among elementary school teachers who, in the spirit of trying to encourage reading, have classroom libraries that are not usually officially reviewed.

Photos of Manatee County classroom libraries have gone viral on social media after a report of the school district asking teachers to remove all unapproved books because of the law, the Bradenton Herald reported.

“They can be charged with a third-degree felony,” Patricia Barber, the president of the county’s teachers union, told the newspaper. “They’ve criminalized providing a book when there really is just a vague definition of what books are not appropriate.”

The situation stirred some concern among Democrats on the subcommittee. Rep. Christopher Benjamin of Miami Gardens asked Burns to explain what is meant by “inflammatory” as prohibited for school materials.

“The definition for inflammatory is not in our state Board of Education rules,” Burns said. “What we did here (in the training) was to capture what the laws say and all the state Board (of Education) rules. We put all of those in one place so that educators can have a one-stop shop thorough training.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Chub Hunter

    January 26, 2023 at 6:05 am

    #%&@&; foiled again…our master plan was to sneek our sex peversion conversion into the classrooms through such books and other media platformes right under the Govornor’s nose. I just see no path forward in Florida to make the little ones @ueer and thus reliable Democrat voters in the coming years. How can we sustain our choke hold on the serfs without our future global force of @ueer voters? This was our last great master plan after loosing our base voters of Black, Hispanic, and suburban white women. #%&@&; foiled again. Either Desantis is too smart or we are to dumb. Why does everything we touch turn to $hit?

    • cassandra

      January 26, 2023 at 1:49 pm

      Christian & Home-school sex education faculty and curriculum:

      “The 47-year-old principal of a Christian school in Tennessee has been arrested for the second time over sexual activity with multiple minors and has been slapped with 11 additional charges. Also charged is 28-year-old Brittney Branham, a secretary and home-school coordinator at Liberty.”——-Crooks&


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