DeSantis Limits Florida Book Challenges, Blames Activists Making a ‘Mockery’ of the System

Randall Hill/Reuters
Randall Hill/Reuters

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday putting new restrictions on the number of challenges that residents without kids could lodge against books in public schools.

Speaking at an event in Jacksonville ahead of the signing, the former presidential candidate said the changes to the original law—which allowed anyone to make as many challenges as they like—were necessary because of people abusing the system. “The idea that someone can use the parents rights and the curriculum transparency to start objecting to every single book to try to make a mockery of this is just wrong,” DeSantis said.

Even DeSantis Thinks Florida Book Removals Have Gone Too Far

Under the new rules, which go into effect on July 1, Florida residents who don’t have children in a school district will only be allowed to make one challenge per month.

Florida is responsible for 72 percent of the books that have been pulled from public schools in the first half of the current school year, according to a PEN America report. The organization, which fights book bans, says Florida clocked 3,135 of the 4,349 bans seen across the U.S. so far this school year.

“The majority of books that we see being removed are books that talk about LBTQ+ identities, that include characters of color, that talk about race and racism, that include depictions of sexual experiences in the most broadest interpretation of that understanding,” Kasey Meehan, PEN America’s Freedom to Read program director, told the Associated Press.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.