HB855/SB1454  Instructional Materials


855/1454 seems harmless enough until you read it.  It goes well beyond instructional materials. It is censorship!!!!


  1. 855/1454 only applies to traditional public schools and not public charter schools or private schools, even those that receive public funds.
  1. Lines126-133 require that parents provide written approval before their children can attend sex education instruction. There is a basic inconsistency between lines 126-133 and 134-141 (refers to exemptions for sex education instruction).  Having every parent approve sex education instruction is dubious, confusing and a record keeping nightmare. Parents can currently exempt students from instruction they deem undesirable but these paragraphs are inconsistent. By my definition, any parents that does not return the permission form automatically exempts their students. Sex education instruction is a very important component of health education.
  1. The Supreme Court of the United States established in Miller v. California a tripartite test for pornography. This bill removes two/thirds of those tests.  Line 77 removes "prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole" opening the door to additional censorship.  Lines 81 through 83 removes "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific values for minors". Again opening the door to censorship.  How can schools teach AP Art History under these guidelines? Many of the famous pictures and sculptures, like Michelangelo’s David, would be banned and excluded.
  1. There are conflicts about who certifies instructional materials.  Is it the Board chair (lines 185-189) or the Superintendent 339-358?
  1. Lines 226-229.  Whose standards are used? You removed "suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the materials presented, or is inappropriate for the grade level and age group for which the material is used". More censorship.
  1. Lines 241-247 - A FELONY if a teacher or someone buys something that is considered offensive? Threatening teachers and librarians is bad politics.
  1. Lines 248-251 Establishes an appeal process to the state board of education, then a law suit in circuit court????  Are you kidding? Public schools in Florida are horribly underfunded (45th in the nation) and you want to waste more of those precious dollars in court suits?  Well funded religious-right groups, not parents, will use this option.
  1. Line 334. Districts must post, on its website,  a list of all of their library books?  Please!  List instructional texts.OK.
  1. 551-553. “ Each district board is encouraged to purchase originally sourced instructional materials and classical literature.” This clearly refers to materials used in a group of charter schools with an attachment to a specific college. 
  1. 565-568. Once again, removes “suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material presented.” And removes “appropriate for the grade level and age group for which the materials are used or made available.




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