Let’s have a “factual, objective conversation”

I encourage you to comb through the letters to the editor in your local newspaper from the past week. The creationist and climate change denying group Florida Citizens’ Alliance has been encouraging their members to respond to the Associated Press article that they don’t like: New Florida law expected to increase conflict over textbooks.

The letters I’ve found so far are versions of a press release the group issued last month.

The bill in no way promotes a narrow ideology. It opens the conversation to everyone and welcomes factual, objective conversation about important issues.

Here’s one in the Daytona Beach News Journal, and another in the Ocala Star Banner. This is a good way for you to learn who the Alliance supporters are in your area. And perhaps you would like to respond with a letter of your own?

Please let me know if you find any more letters.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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3 Responses to Let’s have a “factual, objective conversation”

  1. Mary Bahr says:

    I talked to a school board member in Alachua today and she said that no objections have come to the board so far. I also looked at the Ocala (dec 5th) and Daytona letters and they are almost word for word copies of the same letter. My school board contact said that she had heard the next district the Fl Citizens Alliance are coming for is Marion. Also talked to our local house rep for alachua and he said that the election year means that any public criticism of the new bills will be important in their outcomes. He sees the textbook and religious freedom bills as part of a larger attack on public schools.

  2. Mary Bahr says:

    I just replied to the Ocala letter. Here is the letter I sent to committee staff and my local reps last year when this very bad bill was in committee and up for a final vote. They don’t like it being called the book banning bill and that is what this letter addresses.

    Instructional Materials Bill SB 1210 HB 989 The Book Banning Bill
    As a science educator and parent, I stand in opposition to these bills
    • This bill is intended to attack the teaching (as legally required in our State standards) of science concepts such as evolution and climate change as evidenced on one of the sponsors websites (http://floridacitizensalliance.com/liberty/affidavits/) . This entry referring to a science text states: “Nowhere in the material is a balanced discussion of the biblical explanation.” is an example of the statements evidenced there. As an educator, I am concerned about the continued demand to insert religion into the science classroom. This is a strategy that makes good science instruction more difficult and has been struck down in the federal courts at great cost to school districts.
    • As a parent, I do not want books banned and removed from my child’s reading lists because of the objections of parents whose religious beliefs differ from mine. This is especially disturbing since processes are already in place to allow that parent to excuse their child from reading materials that they object to. They have multiple avenues of dissent including teacher conferences, appeal to administrators and appeals to their school boards. These processes also duplicate the book banning bill without denying other children access to materials. I want my children taught real science and I want to teach them religion at home or at church. I do not want them exposed to fringe religious ideas in their science classroom.
    • Since the bill also covers supplemental materials, this will open videos, online resources, student magazines and other invaluable supplemental resources selected with great cost and time investment to potential bans as well. The time required will make it impossible for teachers, whose schedules are already overburdened, to use supplemental materials and will waste district resources. Discouraging the use of supplemental materials will make all children’s science instruction less interesting and less connected to the real world. Remember there are already ways for parents to review these materials for their own children. This bill would ban these materials removing them for use by all children.

    We do not need to resort to banning books and other materials and wasting school resources while duplicating processes already in place that protect parent choice of instructional materials for their children. Vote No on the book banning bill!

  3. Brandon Haught says:

    Awesome work, Mary! We need more people to do what you did: talk to the politicians at the state a local levels. They need to be made aware of all that is happening so that, hopefully, they can make informed decisions.

    I’d be interested to hear more about what’s being said about Marion County. I’m about to write a post about Marion.

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