Demand the U.S. Dept. of Ed. Protect Students' Right to Learn Now.

The New York Times reports Florida has rejected dozens of social studies textbooks and worked with publishers to edit dozens more to remove any references to the Black Lives Matter movement, socialism and citizen protests involving ‘taking a knee’ during the national anthem.


In the latest effort by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to ban books and scrub textbooks of anything he doesn’t like in order to please his right-wing white supremacist base, the Florida Department of Education approved only 19 textbooks, rejecting 81% outright.

The DeSantis administration then worked directly with publishers to remove any information “not aligned with Florida law” and… publishers complied. After the censoring was completed, 47 more books were approved.

The state’s approved list of social studies textbooks will have a significant impact on how history is taught to nearly three million Florida public school students, on topics ranging from slavery and Jim Crow to the Holocaust.

And when Florida demands changes to textbook content, publishers typically cater to them and the result becomes a template for the materials they offer in other states, potentially impacting millions and millions more kids nationwide.

As each day goes on, Governor DeSantis and the Florida DOE do more and more harm to students, teachers, and our public schools and yet the Biden administration is missing in action.

Despite the traditional power of local governments to determine how schools are run, the federal government is not powerless. It was the federal government that ended segregation after the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education granted the executive branch a legal precedent for enforcing equal access to education.

Through a carrots and sticks method the Department of Education has implemented policies requiring desegregated schools, equal access for students with disabilities, and rigorous student evaluation standards.

The DOE can sue the State of Florida. They can use their leverage and pressure to demand publishers not comply with Florida law at the expense of children. They can offer incentives to schools that reject book bans and they can punish schools that don’t.

They can do some or all of the above. Instead, they have done nothing.

Tell Secretary Miguel Cardona and the U.S. Department of Education to use all the tools of the federal government to fight back against right-wing hate and protect students' right to learn by adding your name now.

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