Even though Florida’s principled limited government constitutional conservative Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order prohibiting teaching Critical Race Theory in the
state’s schools and the Florida legislature has passed a law banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the state’s schools, some school boards apparently haven’t gotten the message – and that includes the Collier County School Board centered on the wealthy coastal enclave of Naples, Florida.
As we explained in our article, “DeSantis Critical Race Theory Ban Being Torpedoed By Florida Deep State Education Bureaucracy” education bureaucrats are trying to sneak Critical Race Theory into schools via the textbook adoption process, even after the bans.
According to Collier County Public Schools, new textbooks that will be introduced to students have nothing to do with "critical race theory."
"There is no evidence of critical race theory in this resource or any of the HMH Florida inter-reading student materials, teacher materials or any ancillary materials," a district official said.
Enter our friends at the Florida Citizens Alliance who reviewed the textbooks up for adoption and organized a massive turnout of parents and taxpayers opposed to CRT-poisoned textbooks at last Monday’s school board meeting.
The hearing was attended by approximately 60 Collier County residents. Among the five “objectors” given 20 minutes to address the board was our friend Keith Flaugh—founder of Florida Citizens Alliance. Mr. Flaugh cited the 1619 Project, which he demonstrated is historically inaccurate, and defines the United States as inherently racist as a school resource that violates the CRT ban.
Among the other attendees were 15 citizens who had registered to have three minutes to address the board directly. While thirteen of those registered to provide comments were angry citizens who adamantly oppose the adoption of the textbooks—which they believe opens the door for teachers to indoctrinate their children with CRT—two were Collier County educators, who insisted there was nothing to fear.
While Left-leaning School Board members and education bureaucrats tried to gloss over the content in the textbooks, the taxpayers and parents who reviewed the books were not buying the spin.
"[Critical race theory] focuses on mainly on teaching cultural differences, instead of commonalities. It's cultural differences, racial differences, ethnic differences, and the keyword is differences," said Chad Taylor, a retired Marine and Naples resident.
“We don’t want it (CRT) drummed into our children’s heads,” Michelle Deiulis told The Epoch Times, “and we don’t want it in their textbooks.”
“This is important because it affects our children,” Rick Stevens, one of the founding directors of Florida Citizens Alliance and pastor of Diplomat Wesleyan Church in Cape Coral, Florida, told The Epoch Times. “Too many people haven’t been paying attention to what school boards do and we all know that our elected officials will do whatever they can get away with. So it’s time for us to pay attention because what our children learn in school is what they live out later in life.”
Bill Oppenheimer was the first citizen to address the board, sharing a letter he had already sent to them, in which he said CRT is “a tool Marxists are using to destroy our country by dividing us rather than uniting us.”
His sentiments would be echoed by nearly every citizen who stood to address the board.
Dan Cook told The Epoch Times he was at the meeting to object to the textbooks and what was being taught in the classrooms. As he addressed the board directly, his daughter Selah distributed pocket Constitution booklets to each member of the CCSB.
Cook’s suggestion that schools eliminate CRT material from the classrooms and replace it with the content of the United States Constitution was met with enthusiastic applause, reported The Epoch Times.
One of the books already in Collier County classrooms is called “D is for Democracy.” In his remarks Mr. Blount made it clear that he disagreed with the teachers who dismissed the historical inaccuracies in “D is for Democracy” because it is only a supplemental “reader,” and not a “textbook.”
“Instructional materials shall be understood to mean those items having intellectual content that by design serve as a major tool in the instruction of a subject or course,” Blount recited from the Florida Education Code (pdf), noting that the “very broad” definition of “instructional materials” would have to include the “reader.”
He also asked to see the teacher’s guide and discovered that the foreward had been written by Dr. Tyrone Howard. The Epoch Times previously reported on how Howard is a known advocate of CRT who encourages teachers to promote the tenets of BLM in the classroom.
“Without the user guide, you might not know that the foreward was written by Tyrone Howard,” Blount noted. “You might decide that’s important or not important. But you need to know it.”
It was also revealed at the hearing that the publisher of many books being considered by the CCSB—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt—had posted a “commitment” to BLM. For this, and other reasons revealed at the hearing, the board unanimously accepted Blount’s suggestion that they postpone their decision regarding the adoption of any books until these matters could be addressed.
The lessons from the initial success of the Florida Citizens Alliance are straightforward: Never let down your guard - review every textbook proposed and demand to see the “supplemental materials,” don’t accept the spin from School Board members and education bureaucrats that CRT or its poison fruit are not present in your schools’ textbooks, come prepared to present the facts and evidence, be clear, concise and professional and fill the room with people who share your concern. And finally, be ready to follow-up if you only get a postponement and not a final favorable decision.
Florida Citizens Alliance
Critical race theory
Gov. Ron DeSantis
Collier County School Board
textbook adoption process
D is for Democracy