Florida Democrats around the state have been calling out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) since his signage of the controversial school transparency law HB 1467 in March. The bill, which looks to make school districts be more transparent about the literature that they provide to children, has been sponsored by the DeSantis administration. Some Democrats, like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) say that the bill is “censorship.”
This horrific law signed by @GovRonDeSantis threatens teachers with a 3rd-degree felony for having unapproved books in the classroom, the same level of charge for child abuse, burglary & aggravated assault.
This isn't freedom. This is censorship. https://t.co/NQE4LzhoWF
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) January 26, 2023
“This horrific law signed by @GovRonDeSantis threatens teachers with a 3rd-degree felony for having unapproved books in the classroom, the same level of charge for child abuse, burglary & aggravated assault. This isn't freedom. This is censorship,” tweeted Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
According to the legislative measure, the legislation looks to ban any sort of potential classroom material or visual representation that “depicts nudity or sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sexual battery, bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors;”
Manny Diaz Jr., Florida’s Commissioner of Education, called the idea that teachers who don’t get the classroom material approved is “fake news.” They could only face a felony charge in this instance if they showcase material that is sexually explicit.
Here is the full statute from law for those interested in seeing the truth for themselves. pic.twitter.com/COZ4NdHhg8
— Manny Diaz Jr. (@SenMannyDiazJr) January 25, 2023
“More fake news from media activists too lazy to read FL law. A teacher (or any adult) faces a felony if they knowingly distribute egregious material, such as images which depict sexual conduct, sexual battery, bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse. Who could be against that?” tweeted Diaz Jr.
At the time of the bill’s signing, Gov. DeSantis stated, “In Florida, our parents have every right to be involved in their child’s education. We are not going to let politicians deny parents the right to know what is being taught in our schools. I’m proud to sign this legislation that ensures curriculum transparency.”
Alongside looking to make the introduction of classroom material “more transparent,” the bill also set a 12-year term limit for school board members.