Florida bill would allow even tourists to challenge what’s taught in schools

Byron and Erica Donalds

Florida lawmaker Byron Donalds’ bill would allow even tourists to challenge the curriculum in the Naples, Florida public schools.

The bill states that textbooks must “provide a noninflammatory, objective, and balanced viewpoint on issues,” be “free of pornography” and be age-appropriate.

“Parents are just too busy to worry about what’s being taught in schools, he says. “Our typical parent,they’re busy with their children, putting food on the table going to work.

Byron is vice-president of Mason Classical Academy, a charter school which receives public funding.

His wife Erica is on the Naples public school board, although their three children attend charter school.She is also on the commission that will consider amending Florida’s Constitution. Erika is a founding member of Parents R.O.C.K., “Parents’ Rights Of Choice for Kids”, a non-profit.

Kelly Lichter, also a founder of Mason Classical Academy, is also on the public school board.

His critics — and there are many — argue the bill would give skeptics of evolution and climate change a platform to influence how those subjects are taught in classrooms or whether they would be taught at all.

Critics say their true purpose is to undermine confidence in public schools and drive students toward their charter school.


Brandon Haught

The bill has “caused a chilling effect on teachers,” said Brandon Haught, a high school biology and environmental science teacher in Orange City, Florida.

He is a founding member of Florida Citizens for Science, a group that describes their mission as “defending against attacks on science education from lawmakers.”


Haught said many people find the teaching of evolution and climate change “inflammatory” and “unbalanced,”  so, if Donalds’ bill becomes law, anyone who pays tax on a cup of coffee while visiting Florida could advocate teaching creationism and that climate change isn’t caused by humans.

If the majority of the school board agreed, those topics would be integrated into the curriculum of each public school in that district.

Protests from the FACEBOOK PAGE

> Rep. Donalds thinks parents of public school students are not capable of monitoring their own children’s education;

> Rep. Donalds thinks teachers are not expert enough in their subjects to determine the quality of instructional materials.

> the architect of the bill, Keith Flaugh, notes that he has found 60–sixty!–books that he’s ready to challenge.