JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – During a campaign event this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that some of the curriculum being taught in schools speaks about defunding law enforcement.
The Florida Education Association said it’s trying to figure out the schools that DeSantis is talking about.
During the Jacksonville visit, the state Fraternal Order of Police endorsed the governor’s re-election.
“If you attack police, you are going to jail and will be held accountable,” DeSantis said during a speech, in which he spoke of attacks on law enforcement.
Thursday afternoon, investigators said three police officers in Houston were shot by someone who ran away from them. Last week, two New York police officers were killed after a domestic disturbance call.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations says 73 officers were killed in acts related to a crime 2021. That’s a 58.7% increase since 2020. So far to date, 10 officers have been killed. Seven of them were on accident.
Gov. DeSantis paired police attacks what’s being taught in schools and why he thinks parents should have the right know what kids are learning.
“The schools, we are working to give parents the ability, and you should have the right, to inspect the curriculum, know what’s being taught and everything like that. There’s a lot of places they don’t want you to do that,” DeSantis said. “And some of the reasons is that they are trying to distort American history. They’re trying to divide kids on racial lines, which is not good. But I’ll tell you, some of those curriculums, this ideological curriculum, they attack the police in some of these curriculum, they talk about defunding police, they talk about all these different things.”
News4JAX reached out to multiple school districts and associations about the governor’s comments.
A spokesperson for Duval County Public Schools says the district adheres “to the teaching of state standards in every course, and those topics are not a part of our curriculum.”
Vicki Kidwell, president of the Clay County Education Association issued a statement:
“I have taught in Clay County for over two decades. Every great teacher knows partnering with parents is how we ensure the success of every child. In Clay County Schools we teach the Florida State Standards approved by the FLDOE and the governor. All curriculum in every Florida public school is adopted with strict state guidelines for being research and standards based and undergoes public review before adoption. I don’t know what the governor is talking about. I have never heard of such nonsense in Clay County Public Schools. I wish the governor was talking about the very real crisis in our Florida Public Schools where we can’t recruit and retain enough teachers and staff. Our schools need leadership in Tallahassee that addresses staff shortages, low pay, over testing and mental health.”
Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar also released a statement:
“Where are the schools the governor is talking about? In Florida? That’s not what I see. Our teachers work with law enforcement on a regular basis and have, I think, a good relationship with law enforcement. A lot of teachers are married to law enforcement. Some politicians’ continual efforts to scapegoat and undermine teachers are having a terrible effect on public schools. Teachers and support staff are leaving to seek employment elsewhere, and our shortage of educators is now huge. To state the obvious: It takes teachers and staff to provide kids with a quality education. Running off educators has a direct and negative impact on our students.”
News4JAX also reached out to the Florida Department of Education about when students were taught about attacks on police or defunding the police.
The department said that in Sarasota, a video was shown to students. They sent me the transcript with the title: “Black Lives Matter Protest Movie.”
It also sent a link to an article about a Broward County school that stopped using a fictional book where a police officer kills a Black child.