Inside Florida’s ‘underground lab’ for far-right education policies

Hechinger Report, May 31, 2023, Kathryn Joyce

In Sarasota County, as school board members battle over book bans, character education, attacks on LGBTQ+ individuals and “woke audits,” students say that “Sarasota is Florida’s underground lab, and we’re its non-consenting lab rats…Any legislation that might be proposed on a statewide or national level is proposed here first.”

“We all understand that we’re facing the destruction of public education.” – Sarasota County school board member

Optometrist FL mom joins with PEN America, Penguin Random House in lawsuit against book bans

New York Times, May 19, 2023, Michelle Goldberg

Lindsay Durtschi, a member of the P.T.A. and an optometrist who grew up in an evangelical household and attended a Christian college, joined a groundbreaking lawsuit with another parent, PEN America, Penguin Random House and a group of authors. They are plaintiffs against a Florida school and school board for their sweeping school library censorship. Much of the library censorship originated from one person, a high school English teacher who is a member of the neo-Confederate group Daughters of the Confederacy.

‘The point is intimidation’: Florida teachers besieged by draconian laws

The Guardian, May 13, 2023, Steven Greenhouse

Teachers say they’re feeling more disrespected, unappreciated and under attack than ever before by new vague laws championed by Governor Ron DeSantis. They say that DeSantis has targeted them as part of a culture war and that, as a result, they’re considering either giving up teaching or finding a teaching job in another state.