Florida Teachers Fight Right-Wing Robotic Slurs In Knock Down School Board Meeting. There’s No Going Back

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Talk about a breath of fresh air. Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman of the Washington Post have put together a terrific piece on the “backlash to the backlash,” specifically the bat$hit anti-gay, book banning nonsense in the State of Florida. Tuesday night in Hernando County, educators let right-wing parents have it. They can’t teach under conditions like they’ve been asked to. Enough is enough and that line was passed long ago. Now things are in overkill.

raucous school board meeting in Hernando County, Fla., on Tuesday night captured what’s striking about this new phenomenon. The scene featured teachers pointedly declaring that right-wing attacks are driving them to quit, even as parents and students forcefully stood up on their behalf, demanding a halt to the hysteria.

“I have never seen such fear from my colleagues as I have seen in the last two months,” social studies teacher Victoria Hunt told the board.

The whole affair really put the culture-war-mongers to shame. Not that they’ll see it that way; as the meeting also showed, scenes like this — with maximum rage, fear, tension and suspicion surging between parents and educators — are precisely the outcome they want. […]

Meanwhile, Alyssa Marano, a math teacher who has resigned, rejected the oft-heard charge of LGBTQ indoctrination of students. “No one is teaching your kids to be gay,” she told the room. “Sometimes, they just are gay. I have math to teach. I literally don’t have time to teach your kids to be gay.”

Thank you Ms. Marano. Finally, the voice of common sense. A 50-minute class can only convey so much material.

Nearly 50 teachers are reportedly planning to resign in this school district. Lisa Masserio, president of the teachers union in Hernando County, says state laws and directives restricting educators are a key reason. She told us: “There is increased pressure and scrutiny on an already difficult job.”

At the meeting, right-wing parents and a minority of the school board amplified the usual attacks: Pornography in classrooms, indoctrination, wokeness. Watching them, it was impossible to avoid the sense that they were relishing every second of the tumult they’ve unleashed.

This is exactly what’s going on. This is deliberate. Franklin Graham has openly declared that the school boards are the place to start a right-wing, theocratic takeover. Read this Fox News article where Graham intones, “the school board member is the most important elected official in America.”

“Our educators have taken God out of schools. Our politicians have taken God out of politics. Our nation is not better [for it]. Our nation is worse,” he said. […]

We need Christian men and women on school boards who can take control of their communities,” he said.

“All of this trash and all of this filth that the left is pushing on our students — that can be turned around if Christian men and women ran for school boards.”

There you have it from the horse’s mouth. And Graham didn’t dream this up. Pat Robertson started talking about this in the 1980’s and Mike Pence got right on board. There is a theocratic plan to take over America and you need to know about its roots, because DeSantis is on board for this, too.  A lot of people thought the idea of a theocratic takeover  was nuts then. Little did they know that 40 years later the so-called Christians would be going after the Little Mermaid for being black and a power-crazed governor would allow Nazi-esque book banning — to be followed by Nazi-esque book burning, I have no doubt.

These people are a menace to education, not the salvation of it, and that point was made at the Tuesday meeting.

At the meeting, Shannon Rodriguez — a favorite of the right wing Moms for Liberty that led the attack on the Disney movie episode — kept robotically repeating phrases like “woke ideologies” and “woke agenda,” not even slightly disturbed by any sense of obligation to define their meaning. She proudly brandished her solidarity with boycotts of Bud Light and Disney as a badge of anti-woke heroism. Another conservative parent practically shouted, “You have awakened the entire alpha male blood of this country!”

But the real story of the night was the response. Again and again, parents and students forcefully defended teachers. They cast the right’s attacks, the censoring of educators and the removal of books as the real threats to education.

“War on woke?” one student said pointedly. “More like war on your children’s future.”

“It’s me and my fellow students who are feeling the effects of this,” said a second student. A third said the removal of books from classrooms is what’s really “indoctrinating students.”

The situation is desperate. And desperate times call for desperate measures. This will gladden your heart.

Things like this are happening all over. As Sarah Jones of New York magazine reports, liberal parents in states as far-flung as New York, North Carolina and Montana are organizing local groups, pressuring school boards and running for office to challenge the right’s education takeover.

As Graham correctly identified, the office of school board member is key. And it is fittingly ground zero of the culture war right now.

 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. At least now, it’s a culture war. It’s not just the rabid right imposing their fake ‘ideology’, real people are fighting back with facts and reason.

    It’s a war they’ll lose with their astro-turfed fake arguments and tiny minority viewpoint, based entirely on lies.

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    • Depends on where they live. I guarantee you if it is in rich Cobb Could try GS, the parents,will be thrilled to force other people’s kids be forced to.listen to Bible reading and prayers over the PA. Currently there is,a moment of silence but these as aren’t happy with that

  2. The one math teacher is probably more correct than she might know. The teachers have no time to teach “gay” because if the apple does not fall far from the tree, the children of these reactionary morons might just be a stupid as their parents and will need all the help they can get understanding the basics of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. Now, a sizable number of teachers are resigning and they students will likely get a piss-poor education because I cannot see any teachers worth their salt wanting to teach in FL.

    Oh, and those idiot parents/school board members need to think about this: in Utah a school district has banned the bible in elementary and middle school for its sexual content and violence. Let’s face it, the bible is much worse than any children’s book out there for those two subjects. So much for G_d in the schools. lmao

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  3. The First Amendment provides that Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. 

    It is time the DOJ start enforcing the First Amendment in regards to school districts to anti-trans and abortion. They are all pushing their perverted religions. Why have a Constitution if one party can trample on it till we have nothing that resembles a democracy with the rule of law.

    A liberal could get elected to some school boards, but not around here. If the laws are not enforced we can have all the damn school boards in the world.

    • They need to remind people that god isn’t in schools because we don’t have a state religion, and haven’t had one since 1787. It’s on parents to teach their kids religion…and most do a crp job.

  4. The constitution also says and our founding fathers said that we are to have a separation of church and state. So religious men and women shouldn’t be involved in making decisions about educating children, a woman’s right to govern her body and much more. Men forget that the Bible was written by man and inspired by God, and that rulers, dictators and kings, all had a hand in changing the words of the Bible and mens translation of it. This is why we have so many versions of the Bible. The first iteration of the Bible was written in Hebrew on pen and paper and Leviticus scripture ACTUALLY says Men shall not lyeth with young boy. The Bible was warning us to protect the children. Man changed this verse to lyeth with man a hundred years later and Christians have used it to weaponize and demonize a race of people. Think of this, Jesus walked this earth and spoke of many ills of this earth, even to the apostles. Homosexuals existed in his time. Not once did Jesus nor the TEN COMMANDMENTS ever say that homosexuals should be condemned or ridiculed. And keep in mind, religious zealots, the words religion, church, and politics aren’t words in the Bible. They were introduced into the lexicon and vocabulary by mankind. The Bible firmly teaches us not to have faith in men. God is a loving God, and is ashamed that his intentions have been twisted to ridicule certain races or sexualities. I’m leary of ALL true believers. You’ve been taught by man, and should have followed Jesus example. Bad Christians.

  5. I wouldn’t work.in a public school.or library system today. In 1975,I took.A knife away from.A budding psychopath Today he would break in with an A515 and start shooting.

    This is what is gonna happen:

    Johnny,age 7, talks about his visit to the zoo with his two Dads and shows off his gorilla plushie.

    Tommy, offspring if two right-wing evangelical Christians, informs real.families must have a Daddy and Mommy.

    Johnny bursts into tears.

    Teacher assures him he has a,real.family, and explains there are many kinds of “real” families. Some have a Mom.and Dad, while others have two.Moms or two Dads or just a Mom or Dad.

    Tommy tells his parents. His parents tell the principal teacher must be fired. If the principal doesn’t they go to the superintendent and the school.board who are so damned scared of death threats, that they terminate the teacher immediately.

    Teacher files a lawsuit.

    This WILL happen sooner or later.

    And even more likely is some nut ball with a gun shoots,a teacher as a “groomer.”

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it's the only thing that ever has.

— Margaret Mead