Broward School Board Member Caught Pushing Book Ban Lie, Education Commish Diaz Straightens Her Out
Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. shut down another liberal hoax on Monday, this time in Broward County. School board member Sara Leonardi was caught in a lie after circulating an “approved book list,” allegedly written by the Florida Department of Education to “distract from all the books being banned.”
“The FL Department of Education released a list of approved books for K-12 probably to distract from all the books being banned in this state,” Leonardi wrote on Twitter. “The list has ninth and twelfth grade misspelled in a moment of symbolism that shouldn’t be lost on any of us.”
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The FL Department of Education released a list of approved books for K-12 probably to distract from all the books being banned in this state. The list has ninth and twelfth grade misspelled in a moment of symbolism that shouldn't be lost on any of us. Per https://t.co/hXZCN5iy0u pic.twitter.com/pNb2pHmi4P
— Sarah Leonardi (@sarahmkleonardi) February 24, 2023
The school board member attached a google drive containing a K-12 reading list with more than 350 titles included. Leonardi cited an article from First Coast News that alleged the list had been created recently by the Department of Education.
But not only was the list not a recent creation, it had not been written by the department at all.
“This document was not written by the Department, so you might want to delete this,” Diaz said to Leonardi in a Twitter reply. “If you really want to see the books in our standards, they haven’t changed for 3 years and are available here [on the department’s website]. As a school board member you should know better.”
This document was not written by the Department, so you might want to delete this.
If you really want to see the books in our standards, they haven't changed for 3 years and are available here: https://t.co/KMBG269l8K
As a school board member you should know better. https://t.co/sMWMY65jDD
— Manny Diaz Jr. (@SenMannyDiazJr) February 27, 2023
Diaz revealed that the list of books was part of the state’s 2020 B.E.S.T. Standards English Language Arts Guide. Contrary to Leonardi’s claims, a disclaimer in the guide states that the reading list is not intended to be “exhaustive,” but rather it “should serve as a guide for teachers, curriculum developers, and test makers as they prepare their instructional units and materials for Florida students.”
“You’d think a school board member would know a little bit more about the state’s recommended reading list,” DeSantis Deputy Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern responded.
Leonardi was criticized on Twitter for failing to do her homework.
“The fact, that this tweet hasn’t been deleted yet after it has been pointed out numerous times that it is false, should tell you something about the intention of the author,” one commenter wrote.
The fact, that this tweet hasn't been deleted yet after it has been pointed out numerous times that it is false, should tell you something about the intention of the author.
— blub blubber (@effzeh_outpost) February 27, 2023
“I’m reporting this for misinformation. I pity the district you represent,” said another response.
“Also reported it. Why the hell do they have to lie so much?”
Diaz and Governor Ron DeSantis have both raised alarm bells recently about educators attempting to push false narratives about the state’s education reforms. While the administration’s reforms specifically target pornographic and other inappropriate material in classrooms, activists have tried to portray the effort as an example of extreme government overreach.
“It’s unfortunate that certain media continue to spread lies and scare teachers for no reason,” Diaz wrote in a statement in early February.
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On Friday, DeSantis responded to critics, who says they are pushing “media lies” on Florida residents,
“They’re doing it because they know there is enough people in corporate media who will just take that, and run with that… if it is explicit and pornographic, parents have the right to object.”
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