Florida school boards for ‘major reset’ after Conservative wins


After massive victories in school board elections across Florida, conservative board members Bridget Ziegler and April Carney said Breitbart News Saturday that public education in the Sunshine State is about to be “reset”.

“We’re going to restore the integrity of public education because we’re focused on education – math, civics, you know, reading, writing – not the inappropriate – the sexualization of our children, inappropriate material and any kind of political agenda just doesn’t belong there,” said Ziegler, a Sarasota County board member who was re-elected Aug. 23.

The Sarasota County School Board went from a 3-to-2 leftist majority to a 4-to-1 conservative majority.

Ziegler described Sarasota County as a “conservative county, but we had a liberal majority for decades.”

“A lot of times people didn’t pay attention to it,” she explained. “We have a great school district, but you have a liberal majority where they started to really push it – the gender ideology and the CRT components. And so turning it back to a 4-1, like a majority super Tory, is incredibly exciting.

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When asked what steps need to be taken and how far councils need to be willing to go to represent parents in Sarasota, Ziegler said that many of the reforms passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) are a big step in the right direction. One of the challenges is teacher training.

“So even the most amazing educators have had professional development, and then they don’t even realize it’s been pushed as far as it has been,” she explained. “Vendors are pushing this stuff a lot more than educators, I always try to make that distinction. People try to attack teachers. excellent educators there, you know, especially those who have been there for a while.

“It’s the course material,” Ziegler continued. “So as a board, you really set the tone and say, ‘That’s not allowed. We need to check our hardware. It is our responsibility to ensure that we know what is accessible to our students. This is what parents expect of us.

Carney, a newcomer to the school board who won elections in Duval County, which includes the city of Jacksonville, also said teacher training needs to be brought under control. His school board also changed from liberal to conservative on August 23.

“It’s not in your face,” she said of Duval County regarding some of the indoctrination programs put in place by leftist councils across the country. “It’s something you see in teacher training and how teachers learn to teach the curriculum.”

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“Just recently, over the summer, in a teacher training, I spoke to a teacher who said to me, ‘You know, we get all this information that supplements the curriculum of the state and that come from the Anti-Defamation League, and a lot of it was very concerning — basically, teaching activism in the classroom,” Carney explained.

She also said there were new sex education materials pending approval which are “really concerning”.

“We just have new materials that are pending approval that are really – for the age groups they’re being introduced to – really concerning,” she said. “I don’t think a fifth grader needs to know how to put on a condom. I just don’t think at that age it’s appropriate at all.

“We should be teaching abstinence, and we shouldn’t be teaching, you know, how to protect yourself from pregnancy at 11,” Carney continued. “It’s just not something an 11-year-old should even think about.”

Governor DeSantis was a major figure in Florida for raising awareness about education issues and school board races, Ziegler and Carney said. Breitbart News Saturday.

Regarding his endorsement of DeSantis, Carney said, “I think it raised awareness of the importance of local races and, you know, especially school board races. I mean, I think we all know that four years ago a lot of us just didn’t pay attention to short-vote races.

Ziegler said DeSantis “brought that to light.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference, Feb. 1, 2022, in Miami. Governor DeSantis has signed a bill that bans teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“He knows how important it is,” she continued. “I mean, I think because he’s a parent of young kids, he understands the impact of how important it is to have a quality education. Floridians overwhelmingly support his curriculum and education program.

“I think it’s so funny that there are so many, especially like far-left liberals who are shocked by this,” she continued. “And then you say, ‘I’m not because at the end of the day, these are common sense issues. “”

“[Liberals] have been the loud, loud — but loud, loud — minority and really pushing everything, and everyone is terrified to talk,” Ziegler said. “But you have bold leadership, like DeSantis, hitting it on the head, and then this is the result, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Conservatives continue to move forward on the education issue, according to Ziegler and Carney, subject to continued school board-level outreach, involvement and political action by parents and community members.

“For too long, so many people have kind of fallen asleep at the wheel and put their kids back in public school expecting them to raise their kids at the same time,” Ziegler explained. “And I think school districts and some special interest groups have tapped into that and are using it as an opportunity to push an agenda, which we’re now seeing the backlash on that.”

“We have diverse communities, which we represent, that have different religious and cultural backgrounds, and we respect that our job is to educate,” she continued. “Their families, they can raise their children based on the beliefs… however, they want to raise their children. … I’m a huge supporter and advocate of parental rights, but I also think, you know, that we need to refocus on parental responsibility.

“In my mind, if we as conservatives don’t maintain our focus on education, we’re doing a disservice to the principles of this country,” she said.

“You know, everyone has a little piece they can get involved in, they don’t have to be a candidate,” Carney said. “I think you know, if you just get out into the community, get involved in your schools, get involved in your local government, find out the times of these club meetings where people get involved, or you know , show up and just voice your opinion to your local city council or school board, it makes a huge difference. Because, you know, as soon as one person stands up and other people see what you’re doing, it inspires other people to do the same.

Grassroots efforts to educate communities about school board issues and help candidates run for office are key to nationwide success in school board elections, Ziegler said, but it will take change. momentum among conservatives who had previously paid little attention to the issue. .

“We [conservatives] talked about education, or you would hear Conservatives talking about education, but really not focusing time and attention on school boards, which have a huge impact on the direction, the trajectory of our children, their communities and the future of our country,” she said. “I’m sorry this is where it’s starting.

The Associated Press

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addresses the crowd before publicly signing HB7, ‘Personal Liberty’, also dubbed the ‘stop woke’ bill during a press conference at Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School in Hialeah Gardens, Florida on Friday, April 22. 2022. (Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP)

“The popular movement has had a huge impact on the whole country,” she continued. “Groups like Moms for Liberty have had a huge impact in this area and have really helped move things forward and please note that it’s organized and run by former school board members.”

“Liberals have controlled our school systems for decades,” Ziegler said. “And so there are a lot of people, especially in the conservative movement, who aren’t necessarily aware of the playbook.”

Liberal control is why it’s so important that potential candidates are educated, trained and have grassroots support on the issues, because “when you walk into these councils, they’re going to try to get you to succumb to groupthink,” Ziegler warned.

“So many conservatives care deeply about our country, believe in principles, understand why our country is so great if we don’t step in,” she said. “And like I said, grassroots movement has been critical to that and we need to keep that momentum going. People need to step up, and local school board elections are absolutely there. There’s nothing more. important than the education of our future generations and there are thousands and thousands, if not millions, of people out there to help you. You are not alone.”

Running, however, is no small feat. Carney faced fierce opposition from his opponents and local media who did their best to distort his image to Duval County residents.

“If the other party doesn’t agree with you, they’re going to come after you hard and they’ll have no problem making up stories or telling untruths and spreading things that not only hurt you as a nobody, but hurt your family or your friends,” she explained. “And they attacked me very hard.”

“Running commercials, putting words in my mouth that weren’t there, you know, pasting a video to make me feel like I was saying things I wasn’t saying,” she continued. “Really, at the end of the day, all I am is a mom and a small business owner who just wants the kids in our community to get a good education.”

Breccan F. Thiès is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.




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