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Teachers in Florida May Face Felony Charges for Opening Books

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By Judy Perkins - - 5 Mins Read

After a new bill was signed into law by the government, Florida teachers in Manatee County started removing certain books or covering them up according to the government's rules. In a new bill published by the government, they prohibited teachers from displaying certain bills that were deemed inappropriate by a certified librarian. 

The opening part of the new bill said it was "establishing term limits for school board members; amending s. 1006.28, F.S.; deleting a  requirement that district school boards maintain a  specified list on their websites; requiring certain  meetings relating to instructional materials to be  noticed and open to the public; providing requirements  for the membership of committees related to  instructional materials."

Felony charges could be laid upon any teacher guilty of breaking laws in the newly signed bill. The newly signed law for Florida teachers is known as HB 1467, and it prevents teachers from displaying any teaching materials that contain visuals or text that is not appropriate for students. The major content this new bill banned from being viewed by students in any way is pornographic content. Also, the book must be suited for the level of the student, according to their grade in the school. 

To ensure that this law is being adhered to, the government has created a new body of librarians and media specialists that will vet the books owned by each school. Any teacher this media specialist finds guilty of breaking the law will face felony charges. According to reports, about one or two media specialists will be assigned to each school. 

Close monitoring of resources used by Florida teachers in studying has increased drastically under the administration of the rightwing Republican governor, Ron DeSantis. The governor says that he will ensure his government does not tolerate items and resources that will corrupt the minds of little children. Thus, his government has been creating strict rules that prevent porn and inappropriate content from being shown to children. 

He is also against certain "immoral rights" since he has been cracking down on LGBTQ rights and other woke concepts. He even led the Stop Woke (Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees) Act which helped give children and adults rights against woke indoctrination. 

Are any Unhappy Teachers?

From several sources, some Florida teachers are unhappy about the new bill as many have termed it stressful and unnecessary by the government. The Manatee Education Association union president, Pat Barber, told local TV station Fox 13 that the government's decision wasn't right. 

In his words, "We have people who have spent their entire careers building their classroom libraries based on their professional and educational experience and understanding of the age of the children they teach. Now, their professional judgment and training are being substituted for the opinion of anyone who wishes to review and challenge the books. We’re focused on things that cause teachers to want to walk away from education because they can’t focus on their mission of educating children." 

Others commented, saying that the vetting process for the books is quite stressful for teachers. Don Falls, a history teacher at Manatee high school, said," If you have a lot of books like I do, probably several hundred, it is not practical to run all of them through [the vetting process], so we have to cover them up."