Posted For: Willie Wonka
The swath of pro-parent school board candidates backed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida is already making their presence known.
The boards are firing teachers and administrators who “spit in parents’ faces’ prior to Election Day, as one Republican state lawmaker told Politico. So far, three state superintendents have been ousted from their roles since the school board shakeup earlier this month, according to local reports.
“We had a wave in school districts that spit in parents’ faces,” state Rep. Randy Fine, a Republican, told Politico. “And now the people who did that are gone.”
Superintendents Brennan Asplen of Sarasota, Mark Mullins of Brevard County, and Vickie Cartwright of Broward County were all fired by school boards with conservative majorities, many of which were led by DeSantis-backed members.
The local teachers union in Brevard County even supported Mullins’ ouster, stating that his leadership had failed to address widespread student violence against teachers.
“Students verbally and physically abuse teachers and staff, and there will be no end in sight unless meaningful systemic changes are made,” the Brevard Federation of Teachers wrote in a Monday statement.
The new DeSantis-backed majorities seek more parental input in and transparency from school administrators. They also largely oppose aggressive COVID-19 measures as well as the teaching of critical race theory and gender issues to young students.
DeSantis harnessed the same wave of parent frustration that initially carried Republican Glenn Youngkin to victory in Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial race.
The governor signed the Parental Rights in Education Bill, dubbed by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, earlier this year. The legislation banned schools from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation with students under Third Grade, among other things.
“At the end of the day, we’re not going to let this state be overrun by woke ideology,” DeSantis said when celebrating school board victories earlier this year. “We will fight the woke in the businesses, we will fight the woke in government agencies, we will fight the woke in our schools. We will never, ever surrender to the woke agenda. Florida is the state where woke goes to die.”