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Monday, February 17, 2020

The Classical Charter school and the Florida Citizen's Alliance

Erika Donalds the driving force behind Jacksonville's new Classical Charter school is also a "charter" member of the Florida Citizens' Alliance which has some disturbing views on education and children they consider deviant.

 The Florida Citizens’ Alliance (FLCA) is a coalition of citizens and grassroots groups working together through education, outreach and community involvement to advance the ideals and principles of liberty.  We believe these include but are not limited to individual rights, free markets, and limited government.

Okay a little Tea Party for me, but nothing overtly bad there, it's when you do some digging do you find out how invidious they are. 

First there is book banning;

From the Tampa Times,  

A conservative group that has had the ear of Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced a new approach in its effort to remove books it deems offensive from Florida’s public schools. 

At least one organization is pushing back, saying the Florida Citizens Alliance does not speak for everyone in the state. 

The Alliance, based in Naples, has spent several years railing against novels and instructional materials it says do not belong in the hands of minors. The group refers specifically to books that include explicit sex scenes and that include information about LGBTQ relationships, such as gay marriage. 

It argues that the sex scenes violate state laws on obscenity, while stories about same-sex parents run afoul of state statute saying marriage may take place only between a man and a woman. 

In the past, the Alliance has pressed lawmakers to make it easier for a county’s residents — not just parents — to challenge school books with an eye toward removing them. Over the past few years, the Legislature did just that. 

But now, the Alliance contends that the laws are “blatantly ignored in most Florida counties.” So in addition to calling for ever tougher laws on book challenges — so far none have been filed by the group’s usual supporters — the Alliance has also urged the state Attorney General to prosecute schools that make the materials available to school children.

So much for believing in liberty right? But they want to arrest and prosecute people for supporting literature, that they don't like. 

Then there is the science they are pushing which is a lot closer to teaching creationism is good and teaching climate change is bad.

From the Daily Beast:

Prominent on the group’s expanded menu of concerns was climate change, and humanity’s presumed role in driving it. The Alliance’s members began line-reading school textbooks for violations of their beliefs, creating carefully detailed reports on how many times, and in what context, elementary and high school students were learning about rising seas, or melting ice in Antarctica. “Unfortunately, what it’s become is indoctrination and not education. That’s our major problem,” Vernon said, echoing a prevailing concern among members of the Alliance and like-minded conservatives everywhere: the unchecked power and control over social institutions by perceived liberal elites. “We’re really concerned,” he added, “that our kids are not being educated, [but] simply indoctrinated in the philosophy of the academic aristocracy.”

With the ascension of the Alliance, the Sunshine State has become ground zero for an intensifying ideological battle taking place across the nation—one that has conservative groups wrestling for control over how climate science will be taught to American students. The science classroom, after all, remains the dominant venue in which those students first encounter the topic, and it greatly informs how students eventually square-up to the veracity of climate change—either as something they believe to be happening and worth responding to politically, or as a phenomenon of nature, undeserving of public funds and political action.

Gulp, that's the climate change part, now here is the creationism, err sorry alternative to evolution part.

From the Miami Herald,

A bill that would allow school districts to teach Florida students alternatives to concepts deemed “controversial theories” — such as human-caused climate change and evolution — has been filed in the state Legislature.
The language of the bill sounds fairly unremarkable, requiring only that schools “shall” teach these “theories” in a “factual, objective, and balanced manner.” But the group that wrote the bill, the Florida Citizens Alliance, says the bill is needed because curriculum currently taught in Florida schools equates to “political and religious indoctrination,” according to the group’s managing director, Keith Flaugh. 

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said that schools need to teach “different worldviews” on issues like evolution and climate change. He asserts that textbooks now skew toward “uniformity” of thought.  

“Nothing is ever settled if it’s science, because people are always questioning science,” Baxley said. “If you look at the history of human learning, for a long time the official worldview was that the world was flat. Anything you now accept as fact comes from a perspective and you learn from examining different schools of thought.”  

Both evolution and climate change are well-established fact in the scientific community.
“It is resolved,” said Ben Kirtman, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami, in reference to climate change. “I find this a way to create artificial doubt about the science to control policy conversation, which is antithetical to the way we do things in this country … The danger is you’re going to have people who don’t have a fundamental understanding of the way science works.”

Then there is their noted anti LGBTQ stance

From the Orlando Weekly,

 Today, the far-right extremist group The Freedom Speaks Coalition will host an all-day conference with state lawmakers in Tallahassee to explore how Florida public schools can "protect our kids from the dangers of the LGBTQ ideology."

According to a press release obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat, speakers and guests at "Parent Power 2020" include Ann Bowden, the wife of former Florida State Football Coach Bobby Bowden, and Republican House Rep. Mike Hill, who was criticized by GOP leaders (but was not called on to resign) last June after audio was released of him laughing at the idea of biblically stoning gay people to death.

"No child should be subjected to the ravages of the Drag Queen and LGBTQ mentality in today’s classrooms and libraries," said the group in the press release. "No child should be forced to think about 'gender fluidity' much less be told they will one day have to choose one."

Bobby Bowden also issued a statement, which was posted to the conference's event page. "Some geniuses decided schools should be teaching kids about sex," says Bowden. "Now folks, I'm talking about little kids, and not your normal sex stuff. The stuff they're teaching is just plain wrong and it sure ain't godly. Mama's and daddy's need to be teaching their kids about sex , the daddy's to the boys, and the Mamas to the girls. And backed up by the bible."

Now Erika Donalds didn't speak there, but other Alliance members did.

After all this I have questions, and concerns.

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