American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten recently shared a list of books she said were banned in Florida as part of a conservative effort to censor history. Just hours later, she was forced to admit how wrong she was.
Originally, Weingarten shared a tweet claiming to show “Florida’s Anti-Woke banned book list.” It included 19 titles, many of which were classic novels.
“Books we have taught for generations!!!!” Weingarten wrote in her quote tweet of the list.
However, just hours after sharing the list, Weingarten was forced to admit some of the books on the list were not actually banned in Florida.
“I should have double checked before I retweeted this list,” she wrote in a tweet Sunday. “My bad. Looks like some of the books weren’t banned. Book bans are very real & dangerous. For an accurate list go to red, wine & blue…& pen america.”
I should have double checked before I retweeted this list. My bad. Looks like some of the books weren’t banned. Book bans are very real & dangerous. For an accurate list go to red, wine & blue https://t.co/ohR4ntMYZW & pen america https://t.co/r5AZbNgoTQ pic.twitter.com/AU3F5E9BaP
— Randi Weingarten ☮️🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@rweingarten) August 22, 2022
According to PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans, which Weingarten cited in her apology tweet, only nine of the 19 titles on the list have actually been banned in Florida. Of those nine, only four were published before the year 2000.
Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” published in 1985, was banned in some Florida school districts. The reasoning for many districts who have banned the book is its inclusion of “endangered women who go through devaluation, coercion, enslavement, torture and outright genocide,” Bored Panda reported.
While serious subjects like these have a time and place to be examined, some Florida districts have decided they are not appropriate to teach teenage students in public schools. These districts can make determinations like this for themselves without help from leftists like Weingarten.
Alice Walker’s 1982 novel “The Color Purple” was also banned in some Florida districts. According to The Banned Books Project from Carnegie Melon University, the novel includes homosexuality, rape, incest, explicit language and sexual scenes. Again, these are subjects that are arguably not appropriate for school-aged children.
Third, John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” was banned in some Florida districts. Originally published in 1937, the book includes racial slurs and a scene describing the rape and murder of a Sioux housekeeper, Marshall University Libraries reported.
Finally, Judy Blume’s 1975 novel “Forever” was banned in certain Florida districts. Common Sense Media explained why this book has been the target of criticism.
“Katherine has sex with her boyfriend, talks frankly about his penis, visits Planned Parenthood to get birth control pills and discusses sex with her mother, grandmother and best friend,” the outlet reported. “She also deals with other adult issues: Michael’s best friend tries to hang himself; another character, who has had many sexual partners, gets pregnant and has a baby; and Katherine’s grandfather dies.”
While Common Sense Media encourages parents to use the novel to discuss difficult subjects with children, it is clear why the content is not appropriate to be taught in schools.
Other books on Weingarten’s list that were actually banned in Florida include “George,” which is a children’s book about transgenderism, and “Thirteen Reasons Why,” which consists of a high school freshman explaining why she committed suicide.
These books were published within the last 15 years, so they cannot have been included in Weingarten’s description of “Books we have taught for generations!!!!” Furthermore, they are inappropriate to teach in schools.
Classics like “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Giver” were not banned in any Florida districts, according to PEN America’s Index. Their inclusion on the list was nothing more than a dishonest attempt to smear conservatives.
After Weingarten’s faux-apology, Twitter users criticized her decision to share the original list without fact-checking it.
“She is inept and presides over our children,” one user wrote. “70-year-old lady says, ‘my bad.’”
She is inept and presides over our children. 70-year-old lady says, "my bad." FFS………. https://t.co/Ymn6m8fjFr
— American Veteran 1776 (@AmericanVet1776) August 22, 2022
“Ohhhhh so she’s a liar,” another user wrote. “Got it.”
Ohhhhh so she’s a liar. Got it. https://t.co/tSHwVnyzXv
— Queen Velvet (@TMIWITW) August 22, 2022
Contrary to Weingarten’s suggestions, conservatives do not want to keep children from learning history. Instead, we want to make sure our students are not indoctrinated with sexual material and leftist propaganda in schools.
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