Governor calls for reform of Florida’s book ban policies, after classics removed

From WUWF Radio:

Gov. Ron DeSantis is walking back Florida’s policies that make it easier to challenge or ban a book in the state.

The announcement in Orlando Thursday comes days after a Miami school required students to get a signed permission slip to read books for Black History Month.

DeSantis said he’s calling on the Florida legislature and Florida Department of Education to “reform” the state’s book ban policies.

He said classic books like “To Kill a Mockingbird” should not be allowed to be challenged. Same goes for the dictionary. And under no circumstances should an entire classroom or school library’s books be banned.

“For example, there was a teacher, I think, in Manatee County that papered over every book in the classroom. Whoa, I can’t show. But that’s a lie. That is not true. That is performative nonsense,” said DeSantis.

DeSantis suggested limiting the number of challenges a person who does not have a child in a district can make, or even fining people for challenging certain books.

“Although we like people wanting to be involved in what’s going on, to just show up and object to every single book under the sun, that is not an appropriate situation here,” said DeSantis. “You should not be reviewing dictionaries, and encyclopedias, and just basic things that have been a part of education for a long time.”

DeSantis said the policy was intended to keep sexually inappropriate content out of the classroom.

The Florida Department of Education stepped in earlier this week after a Miami school required students to get signed permission slips before participating in a Black History Month read aloud.

Commissioner Manny Diaz and Governor Ron DeSantis also pointed out that several of the books that have been challenged in some schools like “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank were actually part of the commissioner’s book of the month club, a list of books the commissioner recommends students and their families read every month.

Link to the rest at WUWF Radio