Using “Individual Freedom” to Restrict Freedom

The irony could not be greater: a well-known banner promoting tolerance among people of different faiths was pulled from a Sarasota classroom for fear it could be deemed “political” and a violation of Governor DeSantis’s “Individual Freedom” law. Imagine how students will feel when told such expressions of equality and, indeed, of our “individual freedoms” are no longer allowed?

If a “CoExist” flag, filled with symbols including the Christian cross, the Jewish star, the Muslim crescent, and those of other faiths, is considered “too woke,” we are at a sorry point in Florida. If the FDOE can ban 28 previously chosen and taught math textbooks with scant justification or explanation, we are at a scary point in American democracy.

The Governor is using our students, teachers, and administrators as political pawns to promote censorship that appeals to the extreme faction of his political base under the guise of “parental rights.” For him, “Freedom” is only acceptable when it supports his political agenda and aspirations.

Voters of all political persuasions in Sarasota County have shown over and over: THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE.

Just last month, 85% of us approved a referendum to continue an additional 1mil tax to ensure students receive a quality education. Now, a good portion of that money may go to defending lawsuits. Many of our teachers may leave for states where they are allowed to do the job they love–teaching.

Tell Governor DeSantis and other elected officials who support taking away local control over our excellent school district that we won’t stand for their chilling attempts to foment prejudice and hinder learning: NO. THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE.

Contact Information: JoAnne DeVries, Sarasota County Democratic Party Chair, ‭(941) 320-8825,‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬