Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Education in Florida, Indoctrination in California

November 30, 2023

When Democrats like Gavin Newsom talk about "book bans" in Florida, they do not mention which books are being "banned." In fact, no books are banned in Florida. Anyone can purchase any book they want. But not everything is appropriate for children to learn in school. Pornographic and developmentally inappropriate materials have been removed from school classrooms and libraries in accordance with Florida law. California, however, has banned classic books from schools:

  • In November 2020, the Burbank Unified School District in Southern California removed the following classic novels from their reading list due to "racism concerns":
    • Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
    • Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn
    • John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
    • Theodore Taylor's The Cay
    • Mildred D. Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • None of these classic books are banned in Florida schools. In fact, To Kill A Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men are recommended for Florida 8th graders by the state's Department of Education.

Newsom has publicly warned school district officials not to remove materials they deem inappropriate, no matter what parents say. He threatened that the state would investigate anyone removing inappropriate materials from school classrooms or libraries. Newsom recently signed a law that would allow the state to fine school districts who remove books for so-called "discriminatory reasons."

While Newsom talks about "freedom," he mandates radical indoctrination in schools:

  • Kindergarten teachers are instructed to challenge gender stereotypes and teach five-year-olds that they might have been born in the wrong body.
  • Newsom signed a law mandating "all-gender restrooms" in schools.
  • Under a 2021 law signed by Newsom, all public high school students must take an ethnic studies course in order to graduate. The six "values and principles" of the curriculum include: "Critique empire building in history and its relationship to white supremacy, racism, and other forms of power and oppression," and "build new possibilities for a post-racist, post-systemic-racism society."
    • The draft curriculum was criticized by Jewish groups for promoting the BDS movement, depicting Israel as an oppressor, and claiming that Holocaust survivors had white privilege.
    • One Jewish parent in California said: "There's a state requirement that you have to sit through a class that says to Jewish students they have extraordinary racial privilege and yet forbids them from speaking because 'this course is not about you?' If you don't accept it, you're publicly shamed and ostracized—you can't even speak up and say, 'I'm not sure if I think that all white people are racists.'"
  • California recommends Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi for children kindergarten-aged and older. The picture books teach kids not to ignore race but instead to "use your words to talk about race" and to "confess to racist ideas."
  • The California State Board of Education adopted its 2023 teaching framework for K-12 math curriculums which encourages educators to implement lessons on equity and social justice.

Under Newsom, California schools indoctrinate students with absurd theories about race and gender, while depriving students of basic education:

  • California has the second lowest literacy rate of any state, ahead of only New Mexico.
  • Out of all 50 states, California ranked last for in-person learning during COVID, because Newsom kowtowed to a major political donor: the teacher's union. Newsom gave the teacher's union a year-long paid vacation, and in 2021, the teacher's union sent Newsom $2 million in donations to help him beat the recall. Think tank CalMatters noted that extended school closures in California increased achievement gaps, because wealthy families (including the Newsoms) were able to send their children to private schools that opened far sooner than public schools.
  • In California's largest school district, Los Angeles Unified:
    • About 72% of the district's students are not meeting state standards in math
    • About 58% of students are behind in English
    • The achievement gap grew due to school closures: 83% of Black students, 78% of Latino students and 77% of economically disadvantaged students did not meet the math standards.

CalMatters concluded: "The educational deprivation that California inflicted on its kids is not only shameful, but will reverberate for decades. Children who fail to master the basics of education in lower grades will be ill-prepared for high school and post-high school training and education. If they are not prepared to take their place in the work force, the state's economy will suffer."

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Education in Florida, Indoctrination in California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/370903

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