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Nov 14 School Board & Book Bans

Nov 9, 2023

Pinellas County School Board - EQUITY FLORIDA Update Moms for Liberty & and Book Banning

Equality Florida says the pressure we are bringing to the Pinellas school board meetings is working. We are seeing the district address some of the harms from Florida’s anti-lgbtq laws and rules.

Moms for Liberty is planning to mobilize to the November 14th school board meeting. This meeting will likely impact whether or not the district finalizes the critical guidance that will positively impact the lives of our LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, students, and their families.

Action steps:

-Attend on November 14th at 10am, and continue to show that our voices represent the students, parents, and families of Pinellas County.

-Share the following important messages with Superintendent Hendrick and the Pinellas County School Board during the meeting and to emails to them:

Our schools should protect all students and respect all families so they can learn and thrive in a safe environment.

School board processes that address curriculum or material challenges should focus on education, not discrimination. These policies should be implemented in a manner that remains subjective, engages stakeholders, is transparent, and reduces books being removed unnecessarily.

Finalize an LGBTQ guide, so that the unnecessary harms from anti-LGBTQ laws can be mitigated. Our community deserves clarity on the district's plan to address the needs of our LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, students, and their families.

Teachers already have a tough job of helping children think critically and prepare them for the future. We urge the school board to take a stand against the hostility directed at the faculty and staff trying to educate our youth.

Also from Equality Florida:

Here are some harms taking place in our schools, and the demands for school boards to create better schools.

1.) HARM: LGBTQ faculty, staff, students, and their families are being denied basic dignities, including having access to an affirming restroom and being acknowledged by their affirmed pronouns.

DEMAND: Provide robust guidance around the Don’t Say LGBTQ legislation, so that the harms from this law can be mitigated and so that students are still afforded a safe and affirming classroom environment. Books are being banned for their inclusion of diverse viewpoints, characters, stories, and identities.

2.) HARM: Stop the banning of books.

DEMAND: Provide thoughtful, thorough, and clear procedures for how to challenge materials and resources without amplifying bigotry.

3.) HARM: The Florida Department of Education is permitting far-right propaganda to be utilized in our schools.

DEMAND: Refuse to utilize Prager-U in any curriculum materials, developed lessons, or other district-created resources.

4.) HARM: The Florida Department of Education has adopted social studies standards that embeds the idea that slavery was beneficial to African Americans, and emphasizes “acts of violence perpetrated by African Americans”.

DEMAND: Send a collective sign-on letter, as a school board, calling for the Florida Department of Education to remove this language, and improve their social studies standards.

5.) HARM: Public employee unions, including teachers unions, have been under attack and must now reach a threshold of 60% to remain active.

DEMAND: Provide ample opportunities for the local union to be able to actively recruit and support its members.

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