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Textbook censorship is hurting careers for Florida students


Re: Florida now warns textbook publishers against ‘critical race theory’ in social studies books

The Florida Department of Education recently solicited proposals from textbook companies for social studies materials. The DOE has posted a 29-page document on its website outlining what should be included in these books and what should be omitted, including: “Critical Race Theory, Social Justice, Culturally Appropriate Teaching, Social Learning and emotional and any other unsolicited theories that may lead to indoctrination of students.

Florida has already shown that the people creating these “standards” have no idea what Critical Race Theory really is, specifically that it is an advanced course taught in faculty of Law, not high school. Now they are demonstrating that they also lack an understanding of social justice and how it is central to teaching social studies.

How do you teach social studies without discussing the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage, or current concerns about gun violence, hunger, or climate change? Is the Ministry of Education suggesting teachers ignore these issues?

Social justice is a core area of ​​social studies education and is widely recognized as an area that provides skills for future employers. If the Department of Education had done a modest search, it would have discovered that our own University of Central Florida offers a graduate certificate in “social justice in public service,” with a curriculum focused on “training in justice society, exploring topics such as human rights, income distribution and the role of markets” — useful skills in many areas.

Colleges and universities across the United States offer social justice degrees for minors, majors, and graduates. Introducing social justice topics in high school prepares students not only for college, but also for future careers. Clearly, the Florida Department of Education has no idea what it is asking textbook publishers to do, or how ill-informed standards will hinder knowledge, career readiness, and students’ professional skills.

Sally Harrison-Pepper, Ph.D., Fort Myers

About Nikolas Cruz, confessed killer of 17 promising hopefuls: Why even think about trying to execute him and give him another 20 to 30 years of media coverage during endless appeals? Lock it up, throw away the key and forget about it forever.

Jim Pinkston, Planting

It was an insurrection. It was an attempt to overthrow our government. This reality cannot be whitewashed.

Republicans declined to be part of a bipartisan inquiry. The only plausible explanation is that they did not want and do not want the truth to come out. Unfortunately, the committee of Democrats, with its sanitized clips of anti-Trump testimony, exposes itself to justified criticism of partisanship. The two Republicans on the panel are hardly impartial.

However, the facts speak for themselves. Neither the sanitized assembly nor the composition of the committee can distort this. Trump was instrumental in organizing the attack on our Capitol.

No one is above the law in America. I recognize that this is a unique situation: no former president has been prosecuted for crimes committed during his tenure. The precedent that such a prosecution would create is fraught with pitfalls. But this road, as rocky as it is, must be taken.

Trump must be held accountable for his acts of betrayal. He must be prosecuted. No one, especially a president, is above the law.

Joel Speiser, Delray Beach

Given that the Catholic bishops have lobbied to make abortion a crime of murder, it is imperative that they lobby the government with the same zeal for free maternity care, paid family leave and affordable child care. They should also provide these benefits to all employees of Catholic institutions, given that the United States has the highest infant mortality rate of any developed country.

Joe Iannone, Hollywood