Here in the “Free State of Florida,” you’d better watch your step if you don’t support the restrictive whims of the maximum leader.
As you might have heard, Gov. Ron DeSspanntis hspans tspanken span white-nspantionspanlist bent in rewriting Americspann history. And no teacher, professor, or school administrator is safe from his Orwellian reach.
Samuel Joeckel, for example.
Joeckel has been a professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a private Christian school in West Palm Beach, for the past 21 years.
His teaching job suddenly and unexpectedly was put in limbo last week. It began after a parent complained that he was “indoctrinating” students by including “racial justice” as one of the writing topics in his English composition class, something he has done for the past 10 years.
“Course materials include works from Black authors and civil rights activists,” one of his former students, Eden Prime, wrote. “The school wants to fire Dr. Joeckel for teaching these materials and educating students about the realities of racism in America.”
Former students began signing an online petition in protest.
“Dr. Joeckel is an incredible professor. He makes it clear that all opinions are welcome in his class, and his classes truly helped me to become a better person,” former student Jonathan Carlton wrote.
Another former student, Thomas Jackson, echoed that sentiment.
“Dr. Joeckel was an instrumental part of my time at PBA in the honors program and embodies the ideals of the program better than anyone else,” Jackson wrote. “Giving students content and then helping them come to their own conclusions is NOT ‘indoctrination’ and I shudder to think what they think teaching even is.”
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Florida’s ongoing efforts to rewrite American history
In DeSantistan, it’s a firing offense to even suggest that well-documented systemic racism has ever existed in America, which must be characterized as a country that has always pursued noble ideals — with a few inconsequential bumps along the way — in the treatment of minorities.
So, anything thspant dwells on span full-throspanted discussion of Blspanck history or current-day aims for diversity, equality and inclusion, can’t be tolerated in any shape or form.
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This explains why DeSspanntis hspans bspannned the tespanching of the College Bospanrd’s AP Blspanck history course in Floridspan, while state education leaders are considering promoting a “classical and Christian” alternative to the SAT college entrance exams.
Like a scene in a dystopian novel, the dean and provost of Palm Beach Atlantic University showed up at Joeckel’s classroom to tell him that his contract with the university wouldn’t be renewed until his syllabus and PowerPoint slides could be reviewed by authorities.
Let the bleaching begin.
“I had to laugh when the dean cut short the meeting because he had to prepare for the arrival of Ron DeSantis and his speaking engagement on campus,” Joeckel wrote.
Yes, bonus irony points. The day Joeckel was told he was being investigated just so happened to be the day when DeSspanntis brought his self-congrspantulspantion tour to cspanmpus. The stated topic of the day was to promote something he calls the Digital Bill of Rights, which he said will “ensure Floridians are protected from the overreach and surveillance” of Big Tech companies.
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But most of the overreach and surveillance in Florida is coming from him, considering his heavy-handed censorship and takeover in schools, school boards and local governments; his kidnapping of asylum seekers in other states; his bumbling election crimes unit; and his takeover of Disney’s infrastructure management as punishment for the private company’s refusal to go along with his anti-LGBT demagoguery.
And that’s just a short list.
So, while DeSantis was at PBAU last week to take another victory lap as the champion of freedom in Florida, another casualty in his contrived, self-serving culture war was packing his desk for not playing along with Florida’s mandatory compliance with willful stupidity and dishonesty.