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Collier County FL and the new battles over textbooks

The Florida Citizens for Science have been doing a great job tracking this legislative battle:

Fresh off their success in the Florida legislature where their instructional materials bill passed, the Florida Citizens’ Alliance is now causing migraine headaches on their home turf: Group sues Collier County schools over textbook selection

The session concerning public objections to the textbooks up for approval by the school board was archived here: http://www.collierschools.com/site/Default.aspx?PageID=10655

The News-Press reports that five books were approved and one was rejected. 

Here’s a preview of the kinds of objections raised:

Joseph Doyle, a Collier County resident who doesn’t have children in the school system, agreed with the parental objections and said one of the books, “Understanding Economics,” “bent to socialism and social justice warriors trying to indoctrinate our children.”

You can find the list of objections here: http://floridacitizensalliance.com/liberty/instructional-materials-review-index/

This is just the first in a series of fights that will take place in school districts all across Florida due to the passage of HB 989.

It’s also important to note that another law was passed that isn’t often mentioned, a “religious freedom” bill that will be used in tandem with the instructional materials bill to challenge science and history in the classroom. This is the  explicit position of the Florida Citizen’s Alliance on the bills:

Flaugh said his group will use it in conjunction with the instructional materials bill to contest textbooks that demonstrate “bias toward Islam and seldom mention Christianity,” and promote those that push for a Christian view of the origins of life.

The Florida Citizens’ Alliance seem to be taking cues from the fight in Texas over textbooks, citing Texas Truth in Textbooks in their website.

Librarians will need to be ready and willing to provide supplemental materials for teachers that can support curriculum goals when books have been challenged and removed, but classes will be expected to go on. EDIT: I have also been informed that the bill allows all instructional materials to be challenged, including supplemental materials that librarians might help curate.

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