DeSantis endorses local school board candidates, Duval Democrats respond

FILE (Phelan M. Ebenhack, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gov. DeSantis made his rounds in Florida Sunday on his Education Tour. He made a stop in Jacksonville and brought out some of the candidates he’s endorsing for school board positions in the area.

Gov. DeSantis said at the event in the last few years there were education disruptions all over the country and because of that, said parents are more interested in what’s going on in schools.

DeSantis also said that is part of the reason why he is fighting for parents’ rights because he believes his opposition wants to indoctrinate kids instead of educating them — and that’s coming from lots of elements in schools.

“We had to send back math textbooks because they were putting woke garbage in a math book. And I’m thinking to myself 2+2=4 not 2+2 and how does that make you feel and is that an injustice?,” DeSantis said.

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis stops in Jacksonville to tout hand-picked school board candidates, education agenda

New4JAX spoke to the Duval Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry regarding DeSantis’s remarks.

“I think what that statement shows is a complete ignorance in terms of how education is taught in our state, there is no woke agenda. There is nothing that our great teachers and educators are trying to instill in our children other than the ability for them to be able to succeed out in the world and for them to be prepared to be able to find a job, go to college or make the best decision for their life,” Henry said.

We also asked Henry about DeSantis endorsing local candidates.

“I think, from the pandemic, and from the way that teachers educators and school boards had to deal with global pandemic was to provide them and flood them with more resources and give them the ability to be able to teach the future of our state. But instead, he used it as an opportunity for him to infuse his political values and his agenda into school board systems. And I think that was wrong,” Henry said.

Some say school board seats are non-partisan and should stay that way.

We asked April Carney, who is running for Duval County School Board in District 2, about this matter as well.

“I think the Governor shed light on the importance of getting involved in your local elections. That’s more about drawing the people out, it’s not about politics, it’s more about being concerned about your city, and doing the research and making the right choices for candidates that are running for local office,” Carney said.

We also received a statement from DeSantis’ Democratic opponent Charlie Crist:

“Florida deserves a governor that genuinely cares about our students, teachers, and schools. As the last elected Education Commissioner and the brother of two school teachers, I promise to be that governor. I will fight every day to keep politics out of the classroom, protect students’ freedom to learn, pay our teachers what they deserve, and provide a great education for all,” Crist said.

To learn more about candidates’ platforms in your area, check out our voter’s guide.

About the Author:

A Florida-born, Emmy Award winning journalist and proud NC A&T SU grad