Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


Sancho's Journal
Sancho's Journal
August 26, 2022

I think there should be a recount!


The orange idiot surely must be in last place in 2021 and forevermore....

August 18, 2022

Florida Educators and Students File Lawsuit Challenging "Stop W.O.K.E." Law. (Press release)

I just got this as an email, so it's not a news link. It is from the University Faculty of Florida Union and ACLU.

ACLU, ACLU of Florida, Legal Defense Fund, and Ballard Spahr are representing the educators and students
Press Briefing: TODAY at 12:30 p.m. ET
Zoom Webinar Link: https://aclu.zoom.us/j/87237127028
CONTACT: Eva Lopez, ACLU, elopez@aclu.org ; Gaby Guadalupe, ACLU of Florida, media@aclufl.org ; Chris Ford, LDF, media@naacpldf.org ; Robin Ireland, Ballard Spahr, irelandr@ballardspahr.com ; Will Ashenmacher, Ballard Spahr, ashenmacherw@ballardspahr.com
ORLANDO, FL – A group of students and educators filed a lawsuit today challenging Florida’s HB 7 — also known as the Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees (“Stop W.O.K.E.”) Act — a law that bans Florida educators and students from learning and talking about issues related to race and gender in higher education classrooms. The plaintiffs are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF), and Ballard Spahr. Florida is one of nearly 20 states across the country that have passed similar laws aimed at banning discussions around race and gender in the classroom.
The lawsuit argues the Stop W.O.K.E. Act violates the First and 14th Amendments by imposing viewpoint-based restrictions on educators (including professors, lecturers, and student teaching assistants) and students that are vague and discriminatory. Additionally, it argues the Stop W.O.K.E. Act violates the Equal Protection Clause because it was enacted with the intent to discriminate against Black educators and students.
“All educators and students have a right to teach and learn free from censorship or discrimination,” said Leah Watson, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Racial Justice Program. “The First Amendment broadly protects our right to share information and ideas, and this includes educators’ and students’ right to learn, discuss, and debate issues around systemic racism and sexism. In an effort to prevent progress towards racial justice, the Stop W.O.K.E. Act deprives educators and students of important tools to challenge racism and sexism. We urge the court to put an immediate stop to this discriminatory classroom censorship bill.”
“The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Aubrey helped inspire a racial reckoning in Florida, and across the nation, in the summer of 2020. As part of this reckoning, Floridians engaged in protests against police brutality and systemic racism, and colleges and universities in the state also launched initiatives to promote anti-racism, equity, and inclusion,” said Morenike Fajana, assistant counsel with LDF. “In response to community efforts to challenge racism, the Florida legislature passed ‘Stop Woke,’ a measure that perversely co-opts Black vernacular in order to greatly restrict speech related to systemic injustice and anti-Blackness—and even goes as far as to hold taxpayer money hostage as a threat to keep educators and students from speaking freely about their areas of study and their own lived experiences with discrimination.”
Rather than allow important issues around race and gender discrimination to be debated and explored in public education, Florida lawmakers — working together with Gov. DeSantis — have moved to impose their own viewpoints in state higher education. The law prohibits educators from teaching or even expressing viewpoints around racism and sexism that are disfavored by Florida lawmakers, even where those viewpoints are widely accepted and considered foundational information in their academic disciplines. The bill specifically targets and places vague restrictions on educators’ ability to teach and discuss concepts pertaining to systemic inequalities, including the legacy of slavery in America, white privilege, and anti-racism.
“The Stop W.O.K.E. Act is a shameful result of propaganda and fear-mongering,” said Jerry Edwards, staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida. “A free state does not seek to curtail the inalienable right to free expression in its college and university classrooms. Both the passage of this law and the conversations in support of it all have one thing in common: the people in power are terrified of students learning the truth about horrific racial violence that many residents in this state either survived or perpetuated. If we do not learn from the past, we are merely damned to repeat its gruesomeness.”
The Stop W.O.K.E. Act imposes harsh penalties — including termination — for educators who have been found to violate the law. However, because the law is so vague, it is extremely difficult for educators to determine what they can or can’t discuss in their classes that might violate the law, leading to a chilling effect in the classroom. This has led educators to change their course offerings or avoid leading class discussions on topics around race and gender inequities out of fear of punishment and losing their jobs.
Plaintiff LeRoy Pernell, a Black professor of law at Florida A&M University, fears the Stop W.O.K.E. Act will restrict his ability to effectively teach his courses and foster discussions on important topics related to race that will help prepare his students to be successful lawyers and advocates.
“As an educator, I should be able to exercise my right to share ideas, information, and knowledge with my students about critical issues that will help prepare them to become successful advocates and lawyers,” said plaintiff Dr. LeRoy Pernell. ‘The Stop W.O.K.E. act attempts to censor discussions and erase the history and life experiences of Black people, LGBTQ folks, women, and other people of color who struggle on a daily basis to achieve racial justice and make a positive change. We deserve to have free and open exchanges about racism in the classroom.”
As a result of the bill’s passage, universities across Florida have canceled or scaled back diversity and inclusion trainings and have taken down public-facing statements denouncing racism. This creates a hostile climate that stigmatizes talking about race on campuses and generates fear among plaintiffs and other Black educators and students who teach or take coursework that discuss race and gender issues.
Plaintiff Johana Dauphin is a Black student at Florida State University and active member of the FSU student body working to advance social and racial justice through extracurricular activities. This fall, Dauphin is enrolled in two courses at FSU that she fears will be negatively impacted by the Stop W.O.K.E. Act. Dauphin believes that due to the law’s restrictions, she will be denied information and instruction essential for her educational enrichment.
“I fear that this law will cause my professors to avoid discussing race and gender altogether, which will result in my perspective and lived experience as a Black, female student being effectively minimized and erased in the classroom, said plaintiff Johana Dauphin. “As a student, I deserve to see myself and the issues that impact me — including issues around race and gender — reflected in my classroom discussions.”
The groups are asking the court to declare the law unconstitutional under the First and 14th Amendments and are urging the court to issue a preliminary injunction that would put an immediate stop to the bill and allow students and educators to have full and open discussions around race and gender in the classroom.
“Attacks like this on the ability of educators to teach and of students to learn are corrosive to the fundamental values integral to a just, informed, and equitable society,” said Jason Leckerman, Chair of the Litigation Department at Ballard Spahr. “We’re proud to partner with the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, and the Legal Defense Fund to take a stand for what’s right.”
The ACLU has challenged similar laws in Oklahoma, which was the first federal lawsuit challenging one of these bills, and in New Hampshire and awaits rulings in both cases.
PRESS BRIEFING TODAY at 12:30 p.m. ET: Lawyers and plaintiffs in this case will offer brief remarks on today’s lawsuit, followed by a question-and-answer period for media. Zoom webinar link is here: https://aclu.zoom.us/j/87237127028
The complaint can be found here.
In Solidarity,

Andrew Gothard, Ph.D.
United Faculty of Florida

June 30, 2022

I won't let Florida's 'Stop WOKE Act' silence discussions on race in my classroom


At the same moment that college and university instructors in Florida were grading our students’ final exams, members of the Florida Legislature launched their latest attack on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by passing House Bill 7, the “Stop WOKE Act.”

The mechanism for deciding that an instructor is violating HB 7 is completely subjective. The new law creates a mishmash of state-imposed speech codes that will harm academic achievement in Florida. By stifling the marketplace of ideas, the Stop WOKE Act will hamper the ability of our students to compete with their peers across the country for job placements and post-graduate professional programs.

I am not going to allow HB 7 to stop me from offering my students the most challenging scholarship on the Holocaust, eugenics, racism and related fields. The Stop WOKE Act will have zero impact on my research, public speaking or on my class lesson plans.

In the fall semester, I am teaching my “African Diaspora in the Americas” class, a course I have taught since I was an assistant professor. I invite Gov. DeSantis to audit or to visit my class anytime he is back in Florida. One caveat: The class requires a ton of reading, Mr. Governor!

This editorial was written by professor from the University of Florida. The nation needs to be wary of DeSatan...he's crazier than the orange maggot.
June 8, 2022

Florida Auditor General Confirms Charges by Whistleblower Rebekah Jones Against FL-DOH


BREAKING: Florida Auditor General Confirms Charges by Whistleblower Rebekah Jones Against FL-DOH

Gross mismanagement of COVID-19 data, including “inaccurate,” “Incomplete,” and “delayed” reporting, put millions of Floridians at risk and undermined state’s efforts to fight the virus

Two years after former Department of Health scientist Rebekah Jones told state officials she was asked to conceal and distort COVID-19 infection rates, the Florida Auditor General confirms that Department of Health (DOH) and other entities provided “inaccurate or incomplete data,” lacked “effective access controls in the systems used to gather data,” and “impacted the State’s ability to accurately report COVID-19 data at the beginning of the pandemic.”

Jones was terminated in May of 2020 after refusing to manipulate COVID-19 data as requested by her supervisors. Jones was the architect and manager of the DOH COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard, the primary resource by which Floridians could access the most accurate and up to date information. Jones subsequently filed a claim for wrongful termination with the Florida Commission of Human Relations (FCHR), where her case is still pending. Jones was afforded legal whistleblower protections in May 2021, a designation she still holds.
June 2, 2022

Ron DeSantis plotted an all-out assault on public universities


Over the past year, Gov. Ron DeSantis and his allies in the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature have been on a crusade against public universities, tarring them as “intellectually repressive” and “socialism factories.”

They have passed laws ordering community colleges and state universities to dig up details about the personal political beliefs of their employees, making it harder for professors to maintain tenure, interfering with university accreditation, and threatening funding for schools that don’t fall in line with the governor’s efforts to control the teaching of slavery, segregation and institutional racism.

And DeSantis may just be getting started.

Records obtained through a series of public-records requests show that DeSantis’ office recently developed a sweeping plan to overhaul higher-education oversight in Florida. The governor’s proposal would have centralized more power in boards run by the governor’s political appointees, made colleges and universities more dependent on money controlled by politicians in Tallahassee, and imposed more restrictions on what schools can teach.

The DeSantis plan would have even stripped university presidents of the ability to hire professors.

Just for context:

Stacking the FL Board of Governors

DeSantis has stacked both boards with friends, fundraisers and ideological loyalists. His appointments include a donor who once gave DeSantis a place to live when he needed a new address; a former education secretary who presided over the failed privatization of an entire school district; a woman who has expressed support for Jan. 6 rioters and the QAnon conspiracy theory that government, business and media are controlled by Satan-worshipping pedophiles; an attorney who defends Republican dark-money groups; a Boca Raton doctor and investor who gave DeSantis $50,000 one week before his appointment (and who has given DeSantis more than $75,000 more since); the CEO of utility giant Florida Power & Light; and a lobbyist for Walmart.
April 27, 2022

Pinellas County commission votes to sue state over new election law [FL]


Pinellas County commissioners voted Tuesday to sue the state over its new elections reform law, which includes a provision they say illegally targets Pinellas to accommodate the political ambitions of one state legislator.

On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that created an office within the executive branch to investigate election crime. The law includes a provision that requires county commissioners in single-member districts to run again for their seats following a redistricting process, which Pinellas finalized in December.

But the language included multiple exceptions so that Pinellas County is the only government affected in the state.

“You sue the governor for one of his top priority bills, if you think he will not pull out the veto pen for every single appropriation that we received this year and every single appropriation that we’ll receive in the future, I think that’s being naïve,” Peters said.
April 18, 2022

Florida rejects math books, claiming they indoctrinate (and other Fl education nonsense)


The big story: Can math lessons be racist?

The Florida Department of Education has suggested they can be, rejecting dozens of textbooks from adoption for use on the grounds that they included “critical race theory,” “social-emotional learning” and other “impermissible” subjects that the Republican-led government has sought to excise from the public schools.

Student walkouts: The Flagler County teen who organized statewide protests against HB 1557 on gender lessons said his district penalized him for his activity after stating it would not discipline him any further, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. He already had been suspended for handing out Pride flags after being told not to do so.

Teacher shortages: Florida schools started the academic year with thousands of teacher vacancies and struggles to find enough substitutes. The situation has worsened over time, WFTS reports.

Before you go ... Brett Goldstein, who plays the usually potty-mouthed Roy Kent on Ted Lasso, showed up on Sesame Street to teach about the f-word. No, not that one. It’s a kids’ show.

April 12, 2022

Guns in the hands of children...


Teens shooting at each other wearing body armor. What could possibly go wrong?

Profile Information

Member since: Tue Aug 17, 2004, 07:11 AM
Number of posts: 9,073
Latest Discussions»Sancho's Journal