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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida's first lady apologizes after a school book reading offends some ears

A photo posted to Florida first lady Ann Scott's Facebook page shows her reading to kindergarteners at Bailey Elementary School.

[Ann Scott, via Facebook]

A photo posted to Florida first lady Ann Scott's Facebook page shows her reading to kindergarteners at Bailey Elementary School.

8

April

Reading to children is almost always a good idea.

But, as Gradebook reported, Florida First Lady Ann Scott wound up apologizing for language contained in the classic novel A Land Remembered after she read a passage to two fifh grade classes Thursday in a Hillsborough County school.

The book she read was a critically acclaimed novel about Florida pioneers by the late Patrick D. Smith. As you can see here, the opening pages include some language that might not be considered suitable for young ears. Words like "prostitute." And "son-of-a-b----." Someone alerted the media. It's not clear who complained, and school district spokeswoman Tanya Arja said neither her office, nor the school, heard from any parents.

By the end of the day, Scott's office had issued this letter of apology.

The school also did a mea culpa, with this statement from principal Russell Wallace to the parents:

"This morning, Florida First Lady Ann Scott read to Mrs. Sabo's kindergarten class and Mrs. Vician and Mrs. Faria's 5th grade classes to celebrate our school as the state's literacy winner. Mrs. Scott read a book to a class of 5th graders titled A Land Remembered that had some words that were not age-appropriate. We did not pick the book and have addressed this with her staff.

"We wanted to make you aware since your child is our number one priority. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions."

Speaking with the Tampa Bay Times, Wallace did say this about the First Lady: "We appreciate her taking the time out and picking Bailey out of all the other schools."

[Last modified: Friday, April 8, 2016 1:57pm]

    

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