Challenges to ‘objectionable’ books grow in Florida schools

Parent and community groups continue to question the presence of certain books in their school classrooms and libraries, claiming that the content is “pornographic” or “inappropriate.”

The Palm Beach County School District recently got two titles off their shelves for fear they might violate the state’s new law on gender identity and sexual orientation instruction, the sun sentinel reports.

Osceola County School District took out four books circulated for review late last week amid complaints from parents, and announced that it would increase parental involvement in deciding how much access their children can have in libraries, WKMG reports.

The Polk County school district is further along in handling a 16-book challenge that a local group called “objectionable.”

Two committees have been reading the books, which the district “quarantined” pending more detailed reviews, and recommended returning another two of themit is perfectly normal by Robie Harris and Extremely loud and incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer — to middle and high school libraries, the Ledger reports.

A national anti-censorship group has been aware of the growing number of initiatives to ban books from schools. PEN America leaders issued a new report on the trend, saying the attempts threaten free speech and the constitutional rights of students.

They featured Polk County schools prominently in that report, which indicated that Florida had the third with most book ban incidents in the nation, reports WUSF. Read more of the Ledger.

Other school news

Anari Dula, 14, researches Tampa apartment rental prices during a class lesson on real estate set against the backdrop of housing market changes led by local realtor Kella McCaskill, at Linabean Academy, on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, in Tampa, Florida.
Anari Dula, 14, researches Tampa apartment rental prices during a class lesson on real estate set against the backdrop of housing market changes led by local realtor Kella McCaskill, at Linabean Academy, on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, in Tampa, Florida. [ ARIELLE BADER | Special to the Times ]

Rising housing costs are giving Florida students real-life financial literacy lessons. A Tampa real estate agent visits a private school in a low-income community twice a month to recruit students thinking about your financial future.

The St. Johns County School District has laid out several possible maps for reassigning students as enrollment grows. Snows looking for community input on the rezoning proposals, the Record of St. Augustine reports.

Alachua County School Board politics is heating up. The woman Governor Ron DeSantis removed from the board for not living in his district has filed papers to execute against the woman whom DeSantis appointed to fill the vacancy, the Gainesville Sun reports.

High school seniors are preparing for graduation photos. A Duval County parent wants to know why packages cost different amounts at different high schoolsreports WJXT.

Four Florida universities are looking for new presidents. Some officials said they hope the new law that shields applicant information from public view improve the pool of candidatesthe The New Herald reports.

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Twenty-two of the 130 colleges in the Football Bowl Subdivision plan to pay student-athletes for good grades. The University of Florida is one of them., yahoo sports reports.

Remember the IMG Academy administrator who took the college entrance exams for the students? Mark Riddell was sentenced to four months in prison and two years of supervision, reports the Associated Press. He must also lose about $240,000.

From the police diary… A Polk County private school teacher was arrested on charges of sexual misconduct with studentsthe Ledger reports. • Law enforcement is investigating a violent attack which took place at an Osceola County high school, reports WKMG.

From the court file… A Nassau County family is sue the school district for injuries his son experienced when a computer table fell on him, Florida politics reports.

Before you leave … For whatever reason, Monty Python came along. I hope it makes you laugh.

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