Q&A Of The Day – How To Handle Teacher Activism In South Florida - Part 3
Bottom Line: Since Ron DeSantis became governor his educational agenda has been clear. Florida needed to rid itself of the Common Core curriculum, reinstitute civics education into all of our schools and prevent radical agendas from indoctrinating our children. In fact, Governor DeSantis recognized that many of Florida’s educators weren’t likely properly taught civics themselves which is why he created an incentive program to teach Florida’s teachers civics. Now, the origin of today’s Q&A was what a parent should do after his daughter was told in math class that they’d be discussing other material like George Floyd. That btw, is the most common way that CRT will likely be introduced in the classroom. It’s unlikely teachers are going to explicitly state... Ok, now I’m going to teach you Critical Race Theory. Now, should teachers choose to travel down the CRT path, as is the case described in today’s Q&A here’s what you need to know.
Should a teacher choose to deliberately teach outside of what's approved by the Florida Department of Education, they may engage in what’s officially called “Education Misconduct”. According to the Florida Department of Education educator misconduct: Occurs in various forms and ranges in severity from allegations of direct harm to students (such as physical or sexual abuse) to an act detrimental to the education profession (such as falsifying documentation of continuing education courses or cheating on a professional exam). For the most part, misconduct by educators occurs either on the school campus or with members of the school community, but can also be something that happens outside of the school environment and does not involve students.
When the Florida Board of Education ruled the teaching of CRT isn’t appropriate in Florida, they established a clear path for education misconduct for educators who’d press on to teach it anyway. The Florida Board of Education found CRT to be both harmful to students and detrimental to the teaching profession. Parents are able to file a complaint with the Florida Department of Education for cases to be investigated by Florida’s Bureau of Professional Practices Services. So, there is recourse. Should a violation be found by the state here’s what can happen: If the Commissioner of Education determines the educator's conduct warrants disciplinary action, the Education Practices Commission, a quasi-judicial body, determines what penalty to issue against an educator's certificate. Penalties that can be issued against an educator's certificate can range from a letter of reprimand, fines, probation, suspension or revocation.
Now, in the case of today’s example, I’d first reach out directly to the teacher and the principal and allow them the opportunity to explain themselves and perhaps opt to do the right thing. It’s my hope that if teachers are put on notice we can cut the nonsense off at the pass. I’d also put it on the radar of your school board representative so they’re aware and know you’re minding the store. Once you’ve confronted the teacher/principal - if you’re not satisfied with the direction of the conversation – that's when you might consider filing the complaint with the state. You’ve clearly done a great job raising your daughter and engaging with her education. Hopefully more parents and students will similarly engage, and we can stop radical agendas and those who intend to indoctrinate our kids, in their tracks.