Our friend John Stemberger of Florida Family Action alerted us that the Florida State Board of Education (BOE) is in the process of developing Library Media Training. This training will be required for librarians and media specialist in Florida public school for grades K-12.
Mr. Stemberger says most of this training is a good start toward ridding our schools of inappropriate materials, however, there are some areas that still need attention. You can view the Library Media Training through this link
In the “call to action” Mr. Stemberger says would be tremendously helpful if you took a couple of minutes to write a Public Comment before the meeting. In an effort to have each comment stand out from the next and have maximum impact, we are encouraging everyone to compose their own using the talking points. You can access talking points here.
Stemberger asks all Florida conservatives to consider attending the Florida BOE meeting this Wednesday or, if you are unable to attend, submit written opinions here (Rule #6A-7.0715) to address the areas of the training that still leave room for inappropriate material in our schools.
Under the parents’ rights in education law (HB 1467), school librarians and media specialists will need to complete online training each year. The training includes guidance on criteria for selecting instructional materials, library books and reading lists.
One of the guidelines would require avoiding “unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination.”
Criteria specific to library books include that books be free of pornography and material considered harmful to minors under state law.
WSFU.org reports the workgroup developing the training includes members of the conservative group Moms for Liberty, who have aggressively voiced their concerns about the material children encounter at school. We urge CHQ readers and friends to attend and testify or submit written opinions (Rule #6A-7.0715) to the State Board of Education meeting in Fernandina Beach, Wednesday, January 18th - 9 am.
“There’s a misconception that we’re trying to ban books. Nobody’s trying to ban books. We’re trying to make sure they are age-appropriate for these children in our schools,” Michelle Beavers, a mother of six who serves on the group, said during a workgroup meeting Tuesday.
Beavers also is chairwoman of the Brevard County chapter of Moms For Liberty. The Brevard group, which has challenged numerous books on the shelves of the county school district’s libraries, is targeting titles for “perceived obscenity,” according to a post on the Moms for Liberty website in August.
“I have six kids. I have engineer children. I’ve been doing this for 37 years. I know what’s good for kids,” Beavers said during a Nov. 28 meeting of the workgroup.
Jennifer Pippin, who leads the Moms for Liberty Indian River County chapter, also serves on the workgroup. Pippin has submitted suggestions about what should be included in the librarian training, such as filtering books for certain keywords or phrases before they are purchased. Pippin also has proposed avoiding purchase of books that include “glorification” of violence, suicide, cannibalism, and the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Pippin explained what would constitute glorification, in her view, during Tuesday’s meeting of the panel.
“One of these books that we have in my district, they’re having parties every weekend and these teenagers are drinking alcohol underage. And they’re (the book is) glorifying it to make it look like, yes, this is what you should be doing on the weekends. And then there’s nothing at the end of the book where they get in trouble, or somebody gets hurt, and they stop having these parties,” Pippin said.
The State Board of Education is meeting and taking the testimony of citizens on:
Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 9:00 am Nassau County School Board Office 1201 Atlantic Avenue Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
The board’s meeting agenda can be found here: (See Action Item #8)
The opponents of this training are mobilizing their forces to speak out against the Board's intent to enact this new training, noted Stemberger, and the Leftwing education lobby is already trying to frame the debate as one of professional educators’ “experience” versus parents’ “opinions.”
News4Jax.com reported Kathleen Daniels, president of “FAME,” the Florida Association of Media in Education said that the rules are problematic in that they hinge on subjective terms like “age-appropriate” which can carry a completely different standard depending on which family you ask.
“What should not be respected or allowed is for my views to dictate what another student can or cannot read. That’s where, you know, we as media specialists really have to draw a line,” she said.
Interesting concept: “media specialists” drawing the line against parents having input on what books their children read, but typical of the arrogance of education bureaucrats.
It is important that the State Board of Education hear loudly and clearly from advocates for this training at Wednesday's Board meeting. They need to know we conservatives support and appreciate their efforts. We urge CHQ readers and friends to attend and testify or submit written comments (Rule #6A-7.0715) to the State Board of Education meeting in Fernandina Beach, Wednesday, January 18th - 9 am.
Florida Family Action
State Board of Education
Library Media Training Meeting
Moms for Liberty