Saturday, 04 February 2023

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Auntie Najwa's Unsolicited Advice: Florida Schools

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Hello Dearies …

Honestly, I do not know how all my family and friends are managing right now without me visiting their homes ... they must be suffering terribly. Never mind them now … I have used my time to learn about the Florida school system, and what I learned has me determined to survive the Coronavirus … if only to vote in the next election.

Why? Because I learned that in Florida, the school books my grandchildren use are influenced not only by science and history … but by ideology in politics. And in a state dominated by politicians who oppose science and promote islamophobia, the result is hair raising. What I learned makes me want to stand by my front door my pink granny sneakers waiting for the polls to open on election day … and just in case - requesting your VOTE BY MAIL ballot. And I am going to pay special attention to local and school board elections.

In Florida ANYONE … yes, ANYONE … no matter if they have children in school can challenge a textbook or school curriculum. And not only for accuracy … for ideology. And elected school boards then have to deal with these challenges. Yes, school board members are elected – that was a new one on me, too.

And do you think wealthy lobby groups profiting from the privatization support candidates who fight for strong public schools? No, they influence politics to defund public schools and shape curricula by their ideology. Science, climate change, factual education about the Middle East or world religions – or accuracy in teaching American history - are not part of the agenda. These groups push islamophobia, bible study, ‘freedom schools’ that teach civics the ‘right way,’ and lowering education standards for teachers - and that’s a very scary thought.

So you can guess what is on Auntie Najwa’s agenda? I’m going to make sure I’m registered to vote and really get to know my candidates this election year. School board members, judges – all those not-so-sexy ‘down ballot’ races. I’ll use my time to vote for a better Florida for all Floridians. Make sure you do the same … or maybe my first out of ‘social isolation’ visit will have to be to your house … we have lots to discuss … no worries, I’ll bring food!

Because you should eat something … you look thin.

Until next time,

Auntie Najwa

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