Governor Ron DeSantis called a press conference titled, “Exposing the Book Ban Hoax,” at the 13th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office in Tampa, Florida on March 8, 2023.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron Desantis’ office released an explicit video on Wednesday detailing pornographic books that have been found within the state’s public schools.
In the “Exposing the Book Ban Hoax” press conference, the DeSantis administration presented a five-minute video to debunk several “myths,” including that “Florida has banned books from the classroom.” The books within the classroom reported by Florida parents include “Gender Queer,” a book that shows a girl masturbating and performing oral sex on another girl, and “Flamer,” a story about a gay boy that describes several sexually explicit interactions, the video showed.
“This is porn,” the video stated. “These books violate Florida standards and curriculum. The hoax from the left is that these books were never in Florida schools.”
“Let’s Talk About It,” a book detailing sex and teenage relationships, contains images and descriptions explaining masturbation for men and women as well as instructions on anal sex, according to the video. The book includes detailed illustrations of female and male genitals and a guide on how to send sexually explicit texts and images to others.
Several books by poet Rupi Kaur, such as “Homebody,” “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers” include lines such as “masturbation is meditation” and “look me in the eyes, when you’re down there, eating for your life,” the video showed. The poetry books were allegedly found in 15 Florida schools.
“Gender Queer” equates the scars from “top surgery,” a surgery that cuts off a woman’s breasts, to having tattoos, the video showed.
“If these materials are not appropriate to show on the news, are they appropriate for children to be reading?” Bryan Griffin, DeSantis’ press secretary, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Today, Governor DeSantis disabused the media’s false narratives surrounding Florida’s educational standards. Florida doesn’t ‘ban books’, but pornography is prohibited in schools and CRT [Critical Race Theory] will not be utilized as educational material.”
Warning: This video contains pornographic images and content not suitable for children. If you can’t read these books at a school board meeting, should they be in a school? https://t.co/gHBoQh5eYa
— Taryn Fenske (@tarynfenske) March 8, 2023
The presentation shows a video of empty bookshelves taken by a Jacksonville substitute teacher who attempted to show the “consequences” of Florida law, which requires books within school districts to be reviewed for indecent material. The teacher was fired after posting the video to Twitter because he violated the school’s cell phone and social media policy, according to News 4 Jax.
In January, the Florida Department of Education mandated that K-12 librarians take an annual training on pornographic and Critical Race Theory (CRT) books within schools. The training requires that materials allowed in schools should not contain “unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination.”
The video also addresses the “myth” that “Florida banned teaching about slavery,” saying that the state rejected an Advanced Placement African American Studies course that “lacked educational value” and taught “queer theory, intersectionality and indoctrinating content.”
Another myth addressed that the state is “banning children’s books on Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente,” the video stated. Florida did not ban these books; rather, parents reported other pieces of literature for containing “indoctrinating content.”
“Every minute you spend focusing on some of this pornographic stuff, that’s less time you’re spending on doing the things that really matter to our kids, in terms of them getting the education they need in math and reading and all of these other things,” DeSantis said at the press conference. “The only way you make that decision, in my judgment, is if you’re putting your own agenda before the well-being of the students. And that’s something we’re seeing all too often.”
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