Ron DeSantis Book Ban press conference.

Ron DeSantis Florida Book Ban

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Updated Mar 09, 2023 at 12:44PM EST by Zach.

Added Mar 08, 2023 at 05:52PM EST by Brandon.

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Ron DeSantis Florida Book Ban relates to the contentious removal of different books from classrooms in the state of Florida as part of the enforcement of the "K-12 Education" bill signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in March 2022. In early 2023, the act and its enforcement became a widespread controversy online and in the media as teachers and classrooms were reportedly emptied out of their books due to the wording of the law, culminating in a media event with DeSantis in which explicit material was shown on a live broadcast.


On March 25th, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the K-12 Education act, which handled the selection and dissemination of material within school and classroom libraries. This act went into effect on July 1st, 2022, with a lot of stipulations and rules for classroom education that would not be explored until the following school year began in August. With the law being known before its signing, videos and media reports about it and the potential consequences were already beginning to circulate before it's official signing, with the YouTube channel ABC Action News[1] having one of the first accounts of the law uploaded on March 3rd, 2022 (shown below).


In January 2023, it was then announced by the Florida Department of Education that books would not be allowed in Florida classrooms unless they were first checked against a list of approved books that would be handed down by the governing body later in the year. This created somewhat of a panic as it was widely reported as a "Book Ban" with many teachers deciding to empty out their class libraries in fear of being in violation of the law and banned book list, as reported by News4JAX[2] on January 27th, 2023 (shown below).

On March 8th, 2023, Governor DeSantis held a press conference with members of the media in which it was warned ahead of time that they would be viewing explicit material that was pulled directly from books found in the classrooms of several schools within different Florida counties. This conference started with a video, which was unable to be played during the news broadcast due to its content, before an hour of DeSantis and other speakers talking about the law and their aim for the education of Florida.

Following the conference, DeSantis[3] Tweeted a "Myths vs. Facts" chart going over the finer points touched on in the conference (shown below), adding the caption "It is important to expose the 'book ban' hoax about Florida schools."

MYTH FACT MYTH FACT MYTH FACT MYTH FACT MYTHS VS 7 FACTS -BOOK BAN HOAX- Florida schools have been directed to "empty libraries" and "cover classroom books." School districts are required to report the number of books removed from schools based on legislation passed in 2022. Of the 23 districts that reported removing materials, the most removed were tied at 19 in Duval and St. Johns Counties - not even close to a whole classroom library. Of the 175 books removed across the state, 164 (94%) were removed from media centers, and 153 (87%) were identified as pornographic, violent or inappropriate for their grade level. Florida is banning children's books about Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente. Books found by parents in Florida schools: x Gender Queer: A Memoir - - an explicit, pornographic book showing sex acts. * Flamer - a graphic book about young boys performing sexual acts at a summer camp. * This Book Is Gay - a book containing instructions on the ins and outs of "" * Let's Talk About It - a book that contains graphic depictions about how to masturbate for males and females. gay sex.' Florida has banned the instruction of African American history, including the discussion of slavery and the aftermath of slavery. Under Governor DeSantis, instruction on African American history has only expanded. The Governor has signed legislation that ensures that Florida's students learn about the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots in addition to requiring instruction on slavery, the Civil War and Jim Crow laws. Additionally, the following is required instruction on the history of African Americans in Florida statute: The history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery The passage to America The enslavement experience ✓ Abolition ✓ The history and contributions of Americans of the African diaspora to society HB 7, signed in 2022, further expanded instruction of African American history to develop students' understanding of the ramifications of prejudice and racism. Florida teachers could be committing a 3rd-degree felony by having books on "certain topics" within their classrooms. Florida has taken a stand against p---------- and sexual material in the classroom. HB 1557 and HB 1467 further solidify Florida's commitment to ensuring that content available in our schools is appropriate for students. Statute 847.012 has been in law for many years and carries a felony penalty for the distribution of pornographic material to children.

Online Reactions

After the announcement by the Florida Department of Education in late January 2023, discourse emerged online surrounding the act as some found it controversial. For example, on February 17th, 2023, TikToker[4] tizzyent posted a video with the caption "What Ron Desantis is doing to teachers in FL" that covered the reaction of Florida teacher and TikToker bteaches3. The TikTok received over 132,000 likes and 11,000 comments in roughly three weeks (seen below).


What Ron Desantis is doing to teachers in FL ( bteaches3 has a full video)

♬ original sound – TizzyEnt

The press conference on March 8th, 2023, also sparked renewed discussions about the act and book ban around social media. For example, TikToker[5] jaimastorm uploaded a video that same day with the on-screen text "IDEALOGICAL INDOCTRINATION" overlaid on DeSantis speaking, receiving over 40 likes and 10 comments in 20 hours (seen below).



♬ original sound – Beautiful Storm

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External References

[1] YouTube – ABC Action News

[2] YouTube – News4JAX

[3] Twitter – Ron DeSantis

[4] TikTok – tizzyent

[5] TikTok – jaimastorm

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