The big story: The strategy of attempting to get books removed from Florida schools by reading graphic excerpts aloud at public board meetings is gaining traction among conservative and right-wing activists.
They’re making no secret of their goal.
The leader of the Moms for Liberty group in Seminole County took to Facebook to remind readers they want to get shut down, triggering state law that says if a school board stops a parent from reading material that material must be removed.
“You want to read the worst of the worst of the books we gave you,” Jessica Tillman said on her pre-meeting video.
The Seminole board didn’t go for it, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The Brevard County School Board, which has faced similar tactics, spent weeks discussing whether to change its public commenting rules because of such attempts. So far, it has decided not to revise its policy, Florida Today reports.
Earlier this month, the Pinellas County school district removed some books that had been read aloud at board meetings. It didn’t stop people from reading, but did conduct a media specialist review of titles to determine the books’ fate. The Indian River County School Board did stop readers, prompting the immediate removal of some titles and emboldening activists that their plan can work.
Some Volusia County parents plan to test the law at an upcoming board meeting, the Palm Coast Observer reports.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Escambia County parents and students suing over school book bans asked a judge not to dismiss their case, News Service of Florida reports.
New rules: Palm Beach County superintendent Mike Burke said his district is attempting to process the large amount of new laws placed on Florida schools, while also attempting to get children educated, WPEC reports. • Alachua County School Board members discussed asking the state to adopt fewer rules, and provide more interpretation of the ones that exist, during a workshop session that also included a review of student transportation changes, Main Street Daily News reports.
New schools: The Duval County school district has broken ground on a $120 million replacement for aging Ribault High, the Florida Times-Union reports.
Parent involvement: Some dads at a Tallahassee school lead a Walking School Bus to campus every month to instill greater interaction with their children, WTXL reports.
Student activism: Equality Florida has launched a new program to help LGBTQ+ students and allies to advocate at school board meetings, WUSF reports.
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Teacher recruitment: Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to attract military veterans to the teaching profession has so far resulted in the placement of 31 new teachers, WFTS reports.
From the court docket ... The Orange County school district is headed to court to seek dismissal of a case involving the use of former school property, WMFE reports. • An Orlando family is suing the city and police over their their 6-year-old daughter’s “cruel, senseless and terrorizing arrest” at a charter school, the Miami Herald reports.
In higher ed
University presidents: University of Florida president Ben Sasse has unveiled his long-range plan for the school. He’s getting mixed reactions. • Florida Atlantic University faculty members have called on trustees to appoint interim president Stacy Volnick permanently to the post, to provide stability to the school, WPTV reports.
Restrooms: The State University System Board of Governors advanced a proposal restricting restroom use for transgender employees.
Campus closures: The University of Central Florida received approval to shutter three unused satellite campuses, News Service of Florida reports.
Don’t miss a story. Here’s a link to yesterday’s roundup.
Before you go ... The Kyiv Women’s Chorus visited Pinellas County’s Gibbs High as part of their goodwill tour of the United States. Some students were moved to tears.
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