Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Florida Athletes May Soon be Required to Submit their Menstrual History to Schools…


Florida’s children who are the most vulnerable; those in need of inclusion the most … are being targeted; singled out by Governor Ron DeSantis only to bring national attention in his quest for power, securing his candidacy for president in 2024…

This latest requirement for Florida’s high school female athletes sharing their personal menstrual history goes beyond what anyone…other than family or a doctor, should know!!

He does not care how his authoritarian actions hurt Florida… especially our children…

He only became our governor by voter suppression and a lack of strong support of the Democratic candidate, Charlie Crist…

I myself remember, living in Flagler and Volusia County where he was our representative, and did absolutely nothing…

Now, with his divisive agenda, he has a strong support of those with money giving him the national stage…

This latest attack is once again hurting our high school athletes…

A proposed draft of a physical education form in Florida could require all high school student athletes to disclose information regarding their menstrual history, which opponents are pushing back against. Richard Bagan via Unsplash

Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article272020202.html#storylink=cpy

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

DeSantis Targets and School Boards With Teachers Bill of Rights – Sun Sentinel

When I began my teacher journey back in the seventies…Even though our pay was quite inadequate… We had such hope, and a surplus of teachers…So much so, I had to travel 90 miles a day, just to teach…

Being apolitical, I did not realize, nor appreciate our teacher’s union…For years, stayed away from joining…

I then realized by those “No Child Left Behind ” years …We sure needed that unity of the union for our advocacy… And especially now in these divisive times it is critical…

So for me, doing my part, now, even though I am retired, I am proudly a member of my local, ACEA; Alachua County Education Association, FEA; Florida Education Association and AFT; American Federation of Teachers….

Divide and Conquer… Governor Ron DeSantis is once again using his authoritarian control over our Teachers Union…

Delaney Johnston January 23, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday unveiled a series of proposals aimed at school boards and teachers’ unions, the latest salvo in his battles over education policy in the state.

At an event in Jacksonville, DeSantis unveiled what he called a “Teachers Bill of Rights,” which would give teachers the green light to stand up to their school boards if they felt their policies violated state law.

He also proposed banning teachers’ unions from automatically deducting dues from paychecks, imposing stricter term limits on school board members, and amending the state constitution to allow school board candidates to reveal their political parties in the now bipartisan races.

DeSantis said he wants an additional $200 million for the special fund created to increase teachers’ salaries, bringing the total for teachers’ salaries in his recommended budget for next year to $1 billion.

A total of $3 billion has been spent on salaries over the past three years, he said.

Much of that money, however, went to raising starting salaries for new teachers, so the state still ranked 48th for average public school teacher salaries last year, according to the National Education Association, one place lower than when DeSantis took office in the year 2019

The state also had 5,300 vacant teaching positions this month, more than double the number two years ago, according to the state teachers’ union.

DeSantis’ proposals to the school boards came after he got involved on an unprecedented scale in local board races for governor and promoted conservative candidates across the state. That included Orange County, where Moms for Liberty member Alicia Farrant won a seat on the board.

“What we’ve seen over the years is that you have … counties in Southwest Florida that voted for me by about 40 points, and yet they vote people into school boards that’s like a completely opposite philosophy,” DeSantis said. “…And sometimes it’s hard not to know because you have all these names on one ballot.”

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, wrote on Twitter that eight-year term limits on school board members instead of the current 12 and partisan elections aim to “essentially get rid of current members over time and improve public education partisan.” This goes way deeper than just culture wars — this is an educational power grab.”

The new proposals would have to be approved by the legislature or, in the case of a constitutional amendment, by state voters by referendum.

They come just days after DeSantis and Education Commissioner Manny Diaz made national headlines by banning an AP African American Studies course in the state and announcing plans for the state to fund all parents who send their children to voucher schools, regardless of income want to send.

His proposal on teachers’ rights is modeled after the Parents Bill of Rights, which allowed parents to ignore COVID restrictions in schools. DeSantis said the state will “protect” teachers from their boards or unions.

“[If] A teacher must either obey state law or listen to a school board or school union or administrator telling them to break state law. If they comply with state laws, they are protected,” DeSantis said. “…And it doesn’t matter if a school board or a superintendent disagrees.”

It could potentially affect teachers who squabble with their school boards over the interpretation of issues ranging from the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law to the “Stop WOKE” law banning critical race theory, both of which are broad.

The educators and board members speaking at the event spoke out against their boards’ vaccination mandates and other anti-COVID measures.

“At my current charter school, I am free to choose whether or not to wear a mask, and ‘social distancing’ and quarantining healthy children due to proximity are foreign words,” said Leah Hannigan, a former public school teacher in Duval.

Charlotte Joyce, a member of the Duval School Board, said: “During the pandemic we have seen teacher unions push for mask requirements and vaccinations. Because of our amazing governor, he just put an end to it and said, ‘We’re not going to have that in the state of Florida.’”

DeSantis’ proposal to end the automatic deduction of union dues also targeted teachers’ unions, which he felt had too much power.

“That’s your choice,” DeSantis said of paying membership dues, a critical funding source for unions. “If you want to do it, send money, that’s fine. But automatically deducted when you sign a power of attorney form? They don’t even tell you how much is deducted.”

He added that union officials “should not earn more than the highest-paid teacher. You have these people making huge sums of money, and the teachers make half of that amount. how is that fair How is that something that makes sense?”

However, he did not say if he would attempt to pass legislation mandating it.

Diaz continued to attack teachers’ unions after the event, writing on Twitter that unions are “standing in the way of teachers getting the raises they deserve.”

A spokeswoman for the Florida Education Association. the national teachers’ union, did not return a request for comment…

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Florida teachers forced to remove or cover up books to avoid felony charges | Florida | The Guardian

Erum Salam
Tue 24 Jan 2023 12.06 EST

Florida ‘s children are being held captive by the authoritarian control of Governor Ron DeSantis;

Book bans, a factual accounting of history, the enclusitiy of all children…Our schools are not able to teach!!

He is now going after teachers!!!


State’s new bill goes into effect prohibiting material unless deemed appropriate by a librarian or ‘certified media specialist’

School teachers in Florida’s Manatee county are removing books from their classrooms or physically covering them up after a new bill went into effect that prohibited material unless deemed appropriate by a librarian, or “certified media specialist”.

If a teacher is found in violation of these guidelines, they could face felony charges.

The new guidelines for the Florida law, known as HB 1467, outline the books be free of pornographic material, suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material, and appropriate for the grade level and age group.

In order to determine if the books meet these guidelines, certified media specialists must undergo an online training developed by Florida’s department of education.

With only a few or even one media specialist present in each school, the process to vet books is lengthy.

Scrutiny of teaching material in Florida schools heightened under the leadership of the rightwing Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, whose administration says it is actively working to “protect parental rights”, which includes a prohibition on childhood education on gender, sexual orientation and critical race theory.

DeSantis has emerged as a legitimate rival to Donald Trump in the Republican party. The former US president has already declared his 2024 candidacy for another White House run, while DeSantis is widely expected to do so later this year.

As part of his appeal to the party’s rightwing base DeSantis has sought to portray himself as a culture war warrior, cracking down on LGBTQ rights and taking conservative stances on the fight against Covid-19 and a host of other issues such as immigration.

In 2021, he announced the Stop Woke (Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees) Act to “give businesses, employees, children and families tools to fight back against woke indoctrination”.

Teachers have condemned the new guidelines.

The Manatee Education Association union president, Pat Barber, told local TV station Fox 13: “We have people who have spent their entire careers building their classroom libraries based on their professional and educational experience and understanding of the age of the children they teach.”

Barber added: “Now, their professional judgment and training are being substituted for the opinion of anyone who wishes to review and challenge the books. We’re focused on things that cause teachers to want to walk away from education because they can’t focus on their mission of educating children.”

Some teachers are even covering up their library books with paper…

Don Falls, a history teacher at Manatee high school, told the Herald-Tribune newspaper: “If you have a lot of books like I do, probably several hundred, it is not practical to run all of them through [the vetting process] so we have to cover them up.”

More school districts in Florida are expected to follow suit as a result of such policies this year. The state’s education department issued a deadline of 1 July 2023 for when “the superintendent of schools in each district must certify to the FDOE Commissioner that all school librarians and media specialists have completed this training”.

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Mark Lane: Teacher shortage isn’t real? So why does math class have a sub?

Mark Lanemlanewrites@gmail.com


When government faces a problem, the response often goes through three stages before its tackled.

Step 1: Deny that the problem exists. It’s just a few noisy people lying to you for their selfish political interests.

Step 2: The problem exists but not to the extent or for the reasons critics claimed.

Step 3: The problem is real and we’ve been addressing it for some time despite the harping of critics…

Florida now has a teacher shortage problem. And unsurprisingly, the state of Florida is in Stage 1 with one foot in Stage 2.

A recently released Florida Education Association survey tallied 5,294 vacancies in Florida public schools. The survey noted that five years ago, the state had only 1,492 vacancies.

The Florida Department of Education disputed the number, talked about the “myth” of a teacher shortage, and blamed the teachers union for twisting number to create a fake problem. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Pay no attention to that substitute teacher wandering the halls trying to find the right classroom….

Help from abroad?Volusia school board considers hiring international teachers to address critical shortages

Another district could look overseas:Could international teachers address critical shortages? Flagler Schools is considering it

Yet this report of shortages jibes with other surveys. Like a report issued last summer by Brown University’s Annenberg Institute that found the teacher shortage to be more than a passing pandemic problem and that Florida had the worst shortage of any state.

Closer to home, this also jibes with measures local school boards are forced to take as they scramble to staff classrooms. The Volusia County School Board, for instance, discussed importing teachers from abroad to fill the staffing gaps. The school system started the school year with 272 instructional vacancies which it managed to whittle down to 141. And it has 239 support vacancies. And even the district’s recruitment and retention coordinator has left…

Flagler County, too, is looking at importing teachers from abroad to fill some of its vacancies.

All this probably jibes, too, with what you probably heard from any kids, parents and teachers you know.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced the state is tackling this situation — which is not really a problem — by allowing military veterans to teach without getting a college degree. As of the start of the year, a total of — wait for it — 10 had been hired statewide. 

So, yes, there really is a teacher shortage. Maybe not in every school, maybe not in every subject area, or in every grade, but enough that it’s clearly a problem. This is not fake news.

And as a believer in the wisdom of free markets, I generally regard teacher shortages as nature’s way of telling us that we aren’t paying teachers enough.

Or more accurately, that we aren’t rewarding teachers enough.

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Florida teachers move to block DeSantis questions on CRT

As a public school teacher, having taught kg- fifth grade, here in Florida…

We never taught...Critical Race Theory…

Our children have benefited from true, developmentally appropriate history…Until the authoritarian leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis…


Tags: Education, Ron DeSantis, Florida

Florida Teachers Move to Block DeSantis Questions on CRT https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/florida-teachers-move-to-block-desantis-questions-on-crt/2948378/?_osource=db_npd_nbc_wtvj_twt_shr

Florida teachers move to block DeSantis questions on CRT
Associated Press

Published: January 11, 2023 at 9:40 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A group of Florida college professors on Wednesday asked a federal judge to block Gov. Ron DeSantis from requesting spending data on diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory programs in state universities.

The filing comes as part of a lawsuit against the so-called “Stop WOKE” Act, which restricts certain race-based conversations and analysis in colleges. Tallahassee U.S. District Judge Mark Walker has blocked the law, though DeSantis’ office is appealing the decision.

The Republican governor in late December requested that state colleges submit spending data and other information on programs related to diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory, which examines systemic racism. The schools were asked to submit the data by Friday.

The college educators, who are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Defense Fund, argue the governor’s request violates the court order blocking the “Stop WOKE” Act.

“This is just another step towards enforcing this unconstitutional law and is clearly intended to continue to chill the speech of instructors and students in Florida. We cannot allow these threats against free speech to continue,” Jerry Edwards, staff attorney of the ACLU of Florida, said in a statement.

DeSantis’ office did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The law prohibits teaching or business practices that contend members of one ethnic group are inherently racist and should feel guilt for past actions committed by others. It also bars the notion that a person’s status as privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by their race or gender, or that discrimination is acceptable to achieve diversity.

The governor began pushing for the law late last year and the Republican-controlled Legislature passed it during the 2022 legislative session.

Critical race theory was developed during the 1970s and 1980s in response to what scholars viewed as a lack of racial progress following the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. It centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people in society.

Conservatives have rejected critical race theory, arguing the philosophy racially divides American society and aims to rewrite history to make white people believe they are inherently racist.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Congress Considers Bill Making $60K the Minimum Salary for K-12 Teachers – The Washington Informer


I can not believe Congress will finally tackle the issue of teacher pay inequities…

When I began in 1972, I was making only $5,000 for the year… Traveling 90 miles a day just to teach…

We now have such a critical teacher shortage…With all the major issues teachers face today …

Young, creative people are not willing to go into teaching only to deal with gun and health safety, such that the divisiveness of politics continuously permeates curriculum and inclusion of all children…

Leaving our children and schools in crisis….

Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Florida) introduced the American Teacher Act to incentivize states to increase the minimum K-12 teacher salary to $60,000 and adjust for inflation.

Wilson, the chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee, said the financial incentive supports ongoing state efforts to provide competitive wages for teachers and address the national teacher shortage.

“Teachers deserve a raise. Unfortunately, our nation’s teachers have been underpaid, overworked and deprived of resources for too long,” Wilson stated. “That’s why I’m filing the American Teacher Act, to give our nation’s teachers the raise they have earned and deserve.”

Wilson called teachers the backbone of America’s education system and economy. She noted that they play a foundational role in the development of children.

“For seven hours a day, they help shape and inspire young minds as well as nurture students academically and socially,” Wilson said.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill, teachers continued to play a critical role in our recovery, underscoring their indispensability,” she said.

The nonprofit Teacher Salary Project helped Wilson draft the bill, which they said responds to a national teacher shortage and low professional morale.

The bill creates a four-year federal grant program to increase teachers’ annual salaries to a minimum of $60,000 nationwide.

Additionally, it would create a four-year federal grant available to states and local educational agencies to guarantee the $60,000 minimum wage.

The bill wouldn’t reduce salaries for those already making more than $60,000 and wouldn’t replace existing federal, state, or local funds used toward teacher pay

Earlier this year, EducationWeek estimated that more than 36,500 teacher vacancies exist in the United States.

They noted that uncredentialed teachers filled more than 163,500 positions. Meanwhile, the Teacher Salary Project pointed out that 74% of teachers don’t believe they receive fair pay.

“How do we get (teacher pay increases) to happen when people in the position to make change are so scared or intimidated by the price tag and the controversial topics associated with higher pay, like performance-based pay and increases in taxes?” Ellen Sherratt, board president of the Teacher Salary Project, told Education NC.

Wilson said teacher shortages count among the most pressing threats to education access today, with districts across the country forced to radically adjust school offerings to respond to turnover and prolonged vacancies.

“While teachers have never received the wages and respect commensurate with the work they do to help all children reach their promise and potential, the culture wars and stagnant wages of the last few years have made this worse,” stated Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

“Recruiting and retaining a diverse teaching force has become increasingly difficult—indeed, most parents say they wouldn’t want their kids choosing teaching as a career,” Weingarten remarked.

The president of AFT added that Wilson’s bill addresses challenges by providing states with federal funding as incentives for teachers and school districts.

“It also funds a national campaign highlighting the value of the teaching profession and encouraging young people to become teachers, using many of the recommendations in the AFT’s Teacher and School Staff Shortage Task Force report ‘Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?’ for recruiting the best candidates into teaching, including increasing compensation,” Weingarten said.

“This bill says put your money where your mouth is,” she continued. “We thank Rep. Wilson for her bold legislation addressing the low starting salaries that have plagued the teaching profession for generations, and we are proud to support this legislation.”


Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Florida Election…Our Children’s Future

I am extremely sad and concerned for the restrictive policies that are affecting our public schools due to republican leadership here in Florida…

Losing this election…We did not elect the more empathetic, democratic candidate Charlie Crist, who would have prioritized our children and their right to a strong public school education…

Hope and Faith…

Our precious children… Women’s rights… Seniors…
Where did it go wrong???

If What’s Ahead Scares You…
And What’s Behind Hurts You…

Then Look Up…

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Election Day 2022…Our Children’s Future…

We have a blessed opportunity to continue making the necessary progress under the leadership of the Democratic agenda…

True Heroes!!!
@KarlaforFlorida 💙🌊🌈🍎🇺🇸🪄✨💫

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

The Time is Now!!

We have a blessed opportunity to continue making the necessary progress under the leadership of the Democratic agenda…

So many issues are affecting our children’s future … Please #voteblue💙 for our children’s future…

Be that voice…!!!Tuesday, November 8, is that day!!!

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

For our precious children…Vote!!! November 8, 2022

Such a blessing…
Hurricanes… Rain…
Got my mail in ballot Saturday!!!

Goes in Monday’s mail…
“Florida” more than ever…
All those impacted by
#DemsDeliver 🌊💙✨💫

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

The good news about the teacher and staff shortage? We can fix it… Andrew Spar, FEA President

Florida’s educator shortage is a longstanding and worsening problem that impacts children and families daily…

The good news is, we can fix this.

President of Florida’s Education Association…Andrew Spar believes….

Working together, we can keep great teachers and staff in our schools while creating a climate that encourages more talented candidates who love kids to enter education.

Dragging culture-war politics into schools is a great way to stir up drama, but it’s terrible for students.


Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

“Hope” … Florida’s Schools… Vote…November 8

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness…”

Our Florida schools have an opportunity to get out of the political restrictions created by Republican control beginning in 1999 …

That has been exacerbated by the authoritarian control by our latest governor, Ron DeSantis…

Right here, in my former school district, Alachua County…Our school board is grappling with these very issues…

Gershon Harrell
The Gainesville Sun


House Bill 7, aka ‘Stop WOKE’
HB 7 allows for the teaching of African-American history but prohibits classroom instruction and curriculum being “used to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view.”

HB 1557 also HB 7 have both sparked outrage and protests around the state. In Alachua County and statewide, high school students staged a walk out in protest of the HB 1557 after it passed the Florida House in a 69-47 vote.

DeSantis signed the measure into law March 28

HB 7 led to the Florida Department of Education rejecting some math textbooks after it was claimed the books “contained prohibited topics” that included references to critical race theory.

Alachua County Public Schools will soon have a better idea of how new laws restricting discussions around race, sexual orientation and gender identity will affect classrooms.

The county School Board will hear from school district attorney Francine Turney about recommended updates to a number of board policies, including those changing due to Florida House bills 7 and 1557, at a Wednesday workshop at 1 p.m. Already parents are seeing the effects of the latter law in requirements for their permission for health screenings.

House Bill 1557, known as Parental Rights in Education and called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, also prevents classroom discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten though third grade. House Bill 7, known as the Individual Freedom bill and dubbed the “Stop WOKE Act” by supporters, prohibits classroom discussions on certain topics regarding race and gender.

Trans youth at risk:Medicaid for Florida’s transgender youth at risk under Gov. DeSantis

‘Don’t Say Gay’ protest:Alachua County students mobilize in protest of the controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Textbook ban:School board approves 4 of 11 math textbooks after DeSantis’ crackdown on critical race theory

The measures were signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The district has to update its instructional learning materials to fall in line with state standards, according to backup materials for the meeting.

House Bill 1557, aka ‘Don’t Say Gay’
HB 1557 prohibits classroom discussions surrounding gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade classes, while requiring instruction to be age appropriate in other grades.

The district implemented this policy for kindergarten through third grade classes on July 1, when the law went into effect, according to the district. For grades four and up, it takes effect only after the Florida Department of Education develops rules or guidance on age-appropriate instruction.

The law also requires parents to be made aware of health care services offered and allows for parents to deny or accept them. It further gives parents the right to file a complaint with the school district if there is any violation of the law.

On Aug. 9, Alachua County Public Schools sent a message home to families regarding health care, stating that parents must give active consent for their child to receive care for chronic health health conditions, vision screenings, dental screenings, hearing screenings and other services.

My heart is breaking for our children and teachers dealing with this…Our children are not being educated with the necessary culture and curriculum…Teachers live in fear they could lose their job …

We are still living with Covid, and our children still are being affected!!!

Many teachers have left teaching and we have a critical teacher shortage…Yet Governor DeSantis is reaching out to veterans and retirees who may not have any teacher preparation classes, nor have experience….

I myself was retired at thirty years due to health issues, was extremely fortunate to resume my teaching career for another eight more years … Before doing so, I had to take another teacher prep class, and take the requred teacher exam before being allowed back into the classroom…

If they gave teachers the respect and paid what they deserve…we would not have a teacher shortage here in Florida or anywhere!

Hope is here for our precious children here in Florida! If we are united and vote for Charlie Crist and Karla Hernandez!!

@andrewsparfea… President of the Florida Education Association…

Let’s go out and work hard to make sure that we have an educator working at the highest levels of our state!

And make Val Deming’s Senator…

She is running against Marco Rubio.. who has done nothing for our children..

Posted in Thoughts About Children

Child Labor in America 100 Years Ago…

At the start of the 20th century, labor in America was in short supply, and laws concerning the employment of children were rarely enforced or nonexistent. While Americans at the time supported the role of children working on family farms, there was little awareness of the other forms of labor being undertaken by young hands. In 1908, photographer Lewis Hine was employed by the newly-founded National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) to document child laborers and their workplaces nationwide. His well-made portraits of young miners, mill workers, cotton pickers, cigar rollers, newsboys, pin boys, oyster shuckers, and factory workers put faces on the issue, and were used by reformers to raise awareness and drive legislation that would protect young workers or prohibit their employment.

After several stalled attempts in congress, the NCLC-backed Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938 with child labor provisions that remain the law of the land today, barring the employment of anyone under the age of 16…

Child Labor in America 100 Years Ago


Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Something New for Florida’s Children…Hope


We have some very exciting news. I am not sure if you saw already, but yesterday Congressman Charlie Crist announced his pick for lieutenant governor. He selected a teacher and a mom of two public school students. She is someone who cares about kids, families, and our communities. He selected ONE OF US! His pick for lieutenant governor is our very own FEA Cabinet member and the president of the United Teachers of Dade (UTD),

“Karla Hernandez”…

We knew that Karla was on the short list, but it is so incredible that someone running for governor would pick a teacher, let alone a leader in the union movement. By picking Karla, Congressman Crist has sent a clear message that public education, families and communities are at the heart of his campaign. He has shown that he understands the importance of who we are and what we stand for. Crist is making it clear that the education of our children is the paramount duty of the state of Florida and, under his administration, teachers and staff will have a true friend and ally in the governor’s mansion.

Karla is a first generation American born in Miami to parents of Honduran decent. She spent 10 years teaching exceptional education students in Miami before joining with Fed Ingram at the United Teachers of Dade as their secretary-treasurer. She went on to serve, and continues to serve, as president of UTD, as chair of the AFT Woman’s Rights Committee, as an AFT vice president and as an FEA Cabinet member.

We needed this exciting news. This shows that we are valued and respected for the work we do. And it shows that Charlie cares about us! We have a chance to truly change the landscape for Florida’s public school students, teachers and staff as well as Florida’s colleges and universities.

Help us get the word out:
Repost my tweet.
Share my Facebook post.
Tell your friends and colleagues.

Let’s go out and work hard to make sure that we have an educator working at the highest levels of our state!

In solidarity,

In Solidarity,

Andrew Spar, President
Florida Education Association

Thank you for listening…
Our precious children need for a strong public school education…

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Our Precious Children’sMental Health…

In the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual report evaluating states on indicators of child well-being, Florida — after modest improvements in rankings over time — remains 35th in the nation…

Each year, the Foundation uses 16 publicly available indicators of child well-being organized into four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. All of these come from publicly available national data so the states can be directly compared. Trend data is also presented for each variable to show change over time.

Below, FPI looks at each domain as compared to 2008-20121…


These findings are extremely disturbing…Our children have been dealing with so much… pandemic, divisive politics and poor leadership…

We have a governor who has refused to expand Medicaid…and from my own personal experience…My daughter who has mental health issues has been denied assistance…

We in Florida must vote blue for our precious children…
Having taught 38 years in Florida…
We so need a fighter…with heart…. right now more than ever..
#VoteBueforOurKids🌊💙🍎📚🇺🇸 https://t.co/LjSHn15Sxa

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

“Dearest Teachers”…This New School Year…💕🦋🌈🙏🏾🍎

Dearest Teachers…

As this new school year begins, remember to be kind to yourself…
You are performing miracles…

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Florida Today… 💔🇺🇸

Florida Deserves Better…

Our precious children….
HUMANITY MATTERS https://t.co/yEwkqeR2i1

I am holding on to Hope…We must vote for our children..

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Florida must Vote for our Precious Children…

Florida is supposed to be the “Education State”…

Florida’s 9000+ teacher shortage is a policy decision, and it’s the result of the hypocrisy and divisive Republican leadership in our state…

Florida Deserves Better!!!
All our precious children… Need schools with enough Teachers and Staff…and a curriculum that is unbiased, and developmentally appropriate…

We must vote Tuesday, August 23, for our precious children…Vote for a governor that truly cares…for “all” children…


THIS is what #SomethingNew looks like. We are united, we are energized, and we are ready to win!!! LFG!!

“I, so love your energy!
You are just what our children need here in Florida…
A strong, caring governor that will bring Florida back to where we once were…

Mailing in my ballot Monday!!! “
And I voted early for …

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Florida’s Law… “Don’t Say Gay”

Some school officials have been accused of warning teachers not to wear rainbow articles of clothing and to remove pictures of their same-sex spouses from their desks…

As Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law — or what critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law — goes into effect Friday, some of the state’s public school districts have begun rolling out new policies to limit LGBTQ issues and identities from being discussed in the classroom….

As Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law takes effect, schools roll out LGBTQ restrictions June 30, 2022…
By Matt Lavietes



Florida Deserves Better…
Our precious children…
We must VOTE BLUE…for Nikki Fried…

Tuesday, August 23, 2022




Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Fourth of July 2022…Solemn Day to Reflect…

This 4th of July…
Happy Birthday America…
We are a young Country…still growing…
What potential we have…

What values and freedoms are we leaving…for our precious children?


#4thOfJuly 💕🌈🙏🏼🇺🇸 https://t.co/NtFLNAGTLH

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Our Precious Children…Our Country is in Crisis…

Vote for our children…💕🌈🙏🏼🍎🇺🇸

All that is happening…Our children will definitely suffer the consequences of poor leadership…We were warned!!!

We did know how this would go!!
I feel it truly is a lesson to behold…
I am holding onto faith…
Elect leaders…

💙🌊🙏🏾🇺🇸 https://t.co/IqRKy42PNe

Posted in Thoughts About Children

For our Children’s Future…Flag Day…A Day of Reflection…

Doing right for our precious children’s future…

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Our Precious Children…#March4OurLives#GunSafetyNow💕🌈🙏🏼🇺🇸🍎

Posted in Thoughts About Children


I have been an educator… advocate for children since 1972…It has been my passion….I have taught all elementary grades; kindergarten through fifth grade…Over twenty as a first grade teacher…

In addition, to my elementary teaching experience, I have a master’s in administration, and I also had the opportunity to teach at the college level, where I lead a seminar for student teachers at the University of Florida while working on advanced course work in Counseling Education….

In 2015 , seven years ago today, I retired from teaching…I was teaching first grade at an elementary school with many children from diverse backgrounds; some of whom lived in impoverished conditions…

I found this position quite challenging; yet one of my most rewarding…I felt, I did make that difference…

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

A Teacher’s Responsibility…

Posted in Thoughts About Children

This Memorial Day… Remember Our Precious Children…💔🇺🇸🌈🙏🏾🕯️

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

#PrayersForUvalde….Our Precious Children…

My last class…Just before retirement
My little first graders, 7 yrs ago…Honor Roll Winners…
Reminding me of how very same they are to those precious babies killed Tues
They’re in high school…

“Pray they live out their dreams”

#PrayersForUvalde #VoteBlueToSaveOurKids 💙🌈🙏🏾🇺🇸🍎

Memories…My precious children… June 2015
Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Opinion | DeSantis bans math textbooks to save Florida kids from being indoctrinated – The Washington Post

By Dana Milbank

When Florida released the names Monday of the 54 math textbooks it had rejected, most for allegedly including “critical race theory” or other “prohibited topics,” I was struck by how the publishers had adjusted their titles to reflect the state’s singular interpretation of the subject matter…

The books had names such as “Florida Reveal Math,” or “Florida’s B.E.S.T. Math,” or simply “Florida Math.” The titles essentially codified what Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s censorship program has accomplished: There is math — and then there is Florida math.

On one level, we already understood that “Florida math” is not the same thing as “math”:

Problem 1: In an election, the Republican candidate gets 232 electoral votes and the Democratic candidate gets 306. Who won?

Answer: It was rigged.

Problem 2: Florida had 153 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people over the past year while California had only 58 per 100,000. How much higher is Florida’s death rate?

Answer: I’m going to do my own research.

It’s easy to laugh at Florida’s claim that it rejected 28 math textbooks over “publishers’ attempts to indoctrinate students” with such “special topics” as CRT, “culturally responsive teaching,” “social justice” and “social emotional learning.”

But then I opened the 2020 edition of one of the banned textbooks, Cengage’s “Precalculus With Limits” — and was horrified by the “indoctrinating concepts” I saw. If this is Precalculus With Limits, I’d hate to see the kind without limits.


At a time when Floridians by law “don’t say gay,” much less “trans,” this banned book brazenly teaches about the “Transitive Property of Equality.” Not only are impressionable minds taught about the “transformation of functions,” but also they are even indoctrinated in “describing transformations” and — appallingly — “sketching transformation”…

At a time when DeSantis is trying to restore the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, “Precalculus With Limits” has endless references to “sin” and “polynomials” — even “multiplying polynomials.” On Page 318, for example, it tells children to believe that “sin x takes on its full range of values.” Valuing sin! On Page 734, incredibly, it orders children to “sketch the graph of the degenerate conic.” Disgusting.

At a time when Florida is banning the acknowledgment of gender fluidity or any identity outside male and female, this subversive textbook unabashedly tells suggestible children that such things exist as “reciprocal identities,” “cofunction identities,” “additive identity property” and even “multiplicative identity property.”

Right now, all Floridians should be fighting the radical socialists, but “Precalculus With Limits” is inviting children to find the “simplest form of a radical equation,” or even to take a perfectly normal equation and “rewrite with a radical.” Which radical? Saul Alinsky?

I am not being hyperbolic. Or even parabolic.

This terrible tone is packed with mentions of “regression” and other forms of deviancy (“define conics in terms of eccentricity,” it commands); it tries to promote forbidden teachings about sexuality in requiring young people to identify “the product of conjugate pairs.”

Some of its indoctrinating concepts are merely gross (“Gaussian elimination”), while others are downright disgusting. “The focal chord perpendicular to the axis of the parabola is called the latus rectum,” it says on Page 702. It goes on to tell Florida’s children to “find the length of the latus rectum.” I don’t even want to know how that is done.

As radical as it is filthy, “Precalculus With Limits” tries to undermine parental authority. On Page 74, it teaches children how to “write an equation for the transformation of the parent function,” even providing “plotting points” for “translating a parent function.” Had this book hit the classrooms, kids would have been graphing parents out of existence with a “double stem-and-leaf plot.”

The textbook sneaks critical race theory into the curriculum in insidious ways. It teaches children about “classifying by discriminant,” and its author appears to be obsessed with the far-left concept of addressing inequality: “solving linear inequalities” (p. 40), “how to solve a polynomial inequality” (p. 184), “solving a system of inequalities” (p. 512). The book blatantly and repeatedly commands students to “solve the inequality” even though they did not cause it and are not responsible for it.

Don’t think this is about color? Well explain this, on Page 512: “Using a different colored pencil to shade the solution of each inequality in a system will make identifying the solution of the system of inequalities easier.”

Thanks to DeSantis, Florida’s children will never have to learn about such “indoctrinating concepts.” In fact, they won’t have to learn much of anything at all…

Florida, our time is now…Our children’s future is at stake!!!…

Our democracy here in Florida is truly in jeopardy…

Posted in Thoughts About Children

Katanji Brown Jackson… Inspiration for our Children 💕🌈🙏🏽🍎

Such a Historic Moment…
Graduating from our public schools…
Miami Palmetto Senior High School in 1988…
What an inspiration for our young children!!!

Posted in Thoughts About Children

Georgia students decorate hallways in sunflowers for beloved custodian from Ukraine – WSB-TV Channel 2 – Atlanta…

“Georgia students decorate hallways in sunflowers for beloved custodian from Ukraine – WSB-TV Channel 2 – Atlanta”


WSB-TV Channel 2 – Atlanta …

Georgia students decorate hallways in sunflowers for beloved custodian from Ukraine
March 15, 2022 at 8:41 a.m. UTC
By Heather Catlin

Our precious children show their love…for Miss Lana….

COVINGTON, Ga. — Students and staff at a Newton County elementary school are coming together to make sure one of their own feels supported.

Lana Gazhenko has been working at Oak Hill Elementary School in Covington for 21 years.

She is an American citizen but from Ukraine and still has a lot of family over there. She has been going through a lot of heartache with the Russian invasion.

The school staff and students wanted Ms. Lana to know she isn’t alone. They surprised her by covering the school with sunflowers.

“I cannot talk. Just speechless and I start crying,” Lana told


That is one good thing about this world…
There are always sure to be more springs…

~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea


“I Declare World Peace”…

💗🙏🏼🌈☮️🇺🇦🦋🌻🌍 https://t.co/S5Uw2iyzl3

Our Children… Springtime Blessings… Peace and Love

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

What Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill really says | The Week

Here in Florida especially…Our children and schools are definitely under attack…All these concerns are manufactured by divisive politics….

In my many years as a teacher of young children…we never discussed their sexual identity…They were learning how to socialize with others…And to become who they were …And accept our differences…

“What Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill really says | The Week” https://theweek.com/education/1011116/florida-dont-say-gay-bill-briefing?amp

MARCH 13, 2022
Why Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill has caused a nationwide uproar
Ron DeSantis.

MARCH 13, 2022
A controversial piece of legislation commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed the Florida Senate on Tuesday after being approved by the House last month. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signaled that he plans to sign the bill. Why is the bill getting so much national attention?

What’s in the bill?

The legislation, more officially titled the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, seeks to restrict the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity with public school children, especially from kindergarten to the third grade.

The text of the bill, which was filed on Jan. 11 by state Rep. Joe Harding (R), stipulates that “[c]lassroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.”

“If that language seems vague, it is,” writes CNN. “But vague legislation can have massive consequences.”

The bill also empowers parents to sue schools and teachers that violate this ban, enhancing the ability of Florida’s parents to object to their children’s curricula.

Notably, the “Don’t Say Gay” nickname was created and spread by activist opponents to the bill. The bill does not seek to prohibit the use of the word “gay” in schools, supporters note.

LGBT advocacy group Equality Florida threatened to “lead legal action against the State of Florida” if “the vague language of this bill” is “interpreted in a way that causes harm to a single child, teacher, or family.” Kara Gross of the ACLU’s Florida branch told Time the bill could infringe on teachers’ First Amendment rights.

In his State of the Union speech, President Biden told “younger transgender Americans” he would “always have your back … so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential.”

DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law. He has repeatedly expressed support for the legislation, though he hasn’t explicitly said he will sign it if it reaches his desk, ABC News reports. If he does, however, the law would go into effect July 1.

Teachers speak out as Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill heads to DeSantis’ desk…


Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

To New Beginnings…The Need for Change Must Come Now…

Pandemic… Divisive Politics…and Now War!!! Issues impacting the lives of our children…everyday…

And because of this, right here in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis, along with many of his republican followers…

Are doing all they can to restrict what are children learn in history… a school’s freedom the choice to wear masks; and prohibiting the rights of children who may be gay, to talk with their teacher about their concerns; In addition, now promoting cameras in classrooms to watch what is happening!!!

Here in my former school district, We were so fortunate to have a strong advocate for our children… Our school superintendent, recently got fired because of her outspokenness for advocating for our children’s freedom…She stood up to our governor…

I pray for the children and people of Ukraine… And the other countries of the World who struggle with their freedoms through war… How will this “time in our history” affect our children



We must vote for our children…💕🌈🙏🏼🇺🇸

Now is the time!!! We must give our children better opportunities…Yet, because of all the divisiveness these circumstances make it extremely challenging…

We must vote, and speak out… And give support to those who Advocate for our Children.. Our President can not do it alone…



I am quite proud to have been a teacher for thirty-eight years

I came to teaching quite by accident I always had an interest in the arts; perhaps becoming a fashion designer

Happy Life Moment…Dream Maker…My family together at Aunt’s wedding… I was the flower girl…

However, overcoming my own challenging childhood… Parents divorcing early in my life…I was called upon to take care of myself…Due to my mother’s work… I had to get myself to school each morning…I was a latchkey child…In addition to that responsibility, I had a sister who was six years older, with mental health issuesI felt my mother was relying on me to look after her

My early life, definitely lead me to the realization….I had a tremendous need to helping others….

So, in my senior year of high school, I made the decision to become a social worker, and attend Florida State University, in TallahasseeIn sharing my decision with an uncle…It was he who suggested, becoming a teacher, because it would better suit me… He believed it was….

A more stable career for a young woman...

Following this insight; One particular day that I will never forget, in my senior English class at Miami High SchoolMy favorite, pretty, young teacher, Ms. Kempler, commented that she liked my dress!… She said that it reminded her of the University of Florida… It was the University’s colors of “orange and blue“…

Wow, I so appreciated her comment!.. Back then because of my personal life, I never felt noticedMs. Kempler did notice me!

Ms. Kempler had gone to the University of Florida; in a town called Gainesville… I had never even heard of, until this very moment…Well… my decision becoming a teacher, was made that day in 1966 my senior year, and go to the University of Florida, just like Ms. Kemper!

Thank you,

Dear Ms Kempler

Soon after, that February in 1967…my mother died unexpectedly, but before she passed…

I shared with her the news, in the hospital, that I was just accepted to the University of Florida, and made her a promise that day, I would go to college!

The road was definitely not easy…Living with friends until this challenging high school year ended… Graduation, and then working that summer in New York where my father was living…Monies earned would help with college expenses… College funds were minimal…

I would be beginning my college career alone … My best friend’s mother saw me off at the Miami Seaboard Train Station August,1967…I Arrived on campus in a taxi… aloneWatching everyone with their families , and I by myself and determination…

My early college school years were quite difficult… I was even told by a college advisor…I did not belong because of my test scores…Yet, I was determined to prove them wrong …And I feel so blessed…I was determined…I succeeded… Even getting married young, while attending college; and having my daughter,…

March of 1972 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education…

Doing it with self- determination and blessed with college grants and loans, and food stamps…

Then immediately, getting my first teaching job…April 1, 1972…Traveling 90 miles a day just to teach…

Now as I reflect on my thirty-eight years; I am quite proud of all accomplished…

I have taught so many children from grades ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade; dating back from “1972”, up to my last year, retiring in “2015” …And spending more than twenty-five years in first grade…

I also went on to get a Masters of Science in Administration from an accelerated program from Nova University…an opportunity I felt would enrich my teaching journey …

And then later, I even had a wonderful opportunity teaching a college seminar for beginning teachers back at the University of Florida, while on a paid sabbatical working on an advanced course work in counseling education…I felt like I was living dream my mother had for me…

And I have never looked back… Becoming a teacher was the most important decision I made to channel my passion for helping…

Thanks to my mother, and those that believed in my determination... I was teaching our young precious children!!…

How I hope my students can still remember back to the time they spent in my class so many years ago, and remember that love I have for them, smile warmly at some of the memories, and definitely have the confidence in themselves that they can amount to everything they put their minds”

And…now more than ever…I will always advocate for our children

“Reflections”… My Journey Does Continue…


First posted back in 2013…Almost ten years ago…I was close to my retirement in 2015… thirty-eight years dedicated to teaching young children…

Being reminded …

Teaching our children has always been impacted by the political climate…And back ten years ago… Funding definitely was an issue making our profession less of the regard it deserves…

And truthfully, even back when I began in 1972…We did have that critical moment because of the political policies of the sixties…

Integration and a strong focus on the young child were given that priority…

We were needed, and in demand!! We had so many of us wanting to become teachers…I was willing to travel ninety miles a day just to teach…

We had such Hope!!…I so believe, we go into teaching because it is a calling.. “our passion”…

Here we are, 2022…Our teachers are dealing with insurmountable obstacles… pandemic, staggered teaching… shortages with staff… political interference …

Yet, teachers still put their “Heart” into teaching!!

The joy I get from my children each year, has sustained me all these many years…

I have so loved their special writings and pictures; and personal, little notes…that some, I have even saved over the years…

That many of the momentos are displayed in my home and classroom that my children have given to me through the years…

I can even say that I do have a place setting for twelve, in “teacher mugs”…

I have truly loved reconnecting with former students, and I may still have that special momento they have given to me…

In fact, there are those special parents that I taught, now with their own children, at the very school where I am presently teaching first grade…

I feel such joy, I am still remembered…And see who they became!

All of which are part of my…World of Teaching, that resides in my heart and memory…

The joys of teaching are impactful… I feel so blessed to have touched their lives…

The Joys of Teaching…

Posted in Mission, Reflections, Thoughts About Children

Big Brother in our Classrooms?…

Our Florida schools have been dealing with such an authoritative control… Making it quite challenging for teachers to feel secure, safe and even continue to teach…We have a critical shortage here in Florida…

And moreover our precious children suffer the consequences!!

First, back in the nineties, it was the “No Child Left Behind Movement” where children were being classified by a standardized test, taught from developmentally inappropriate curriculum…

That outcome led to the privatization of schools, taking resources and funds away from our our public schools… giving it to private and charter schools, And we still are grappling with these issues today!!

And in these last twenty year, safety issues have been a major concern for schools…where arming teachers was one of the solutions…And since the pandemic, social media influences, and the divisive of our Country, has gotten much worse…

Thus leading to what many school districts teach…Controlling what children learn in classrooms… Especially when it comes to history!!

Florida Lawmaker Files Bill To Put Cameras In Classrooms & Mics On Teachers – CBS Miami…

Author: Jacqueline Quynh
January 12, 2022 at 11:14 pm
Filed Under: Broward County Public Schools, Jacqueline Quynh, Local TV, Miami News


FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – While lawmakers in Tallahassee debate a new proposal to allow schools districts to put cameras in classrooms, a select few in Broward County Public Schools already have them.

“That is happening right now, yeah,” Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco said.

According to the Broward County Public Schools website, parents of a student can request a camera system with visual and audio capability be placed in a classroom if the child is a student with a disability and is an individualized education program from where the majority of the students have a disability. This came into existence after Florida House Bill 149 passed in July 2021.

“And it’s not in every classroom. We have parents that have not exercised that right. It’s kind of two fold. If one parent wants it, the camera goes in the room. If the other 10 parents don’t want it, they don’t have a say,” she said.

“Everything that happens in a classroom is monitored and watched and heard all day. There is absolutely zero privacy for anybody, even when the students are in the room and the teacher needs to do a parent conference on the phone,” Fusco said..

The bill filed by Rep. Bob Rommel, a Republican out of Naples, is proposing to allow districts to adopt policies that could install cameras in classrooms and require teachers to wear microphones for all students.

“I think if we can do it in a safe way to protect the privacy of students and teachers I think we should do it. I haven’t heard a response good or bad from any teachers but you know what it’s not their private space, it’s our children’s space too,” Rep. Rommel, R-District 160, said.

“It can be looked at any time. We don’t know how they’re going to keep in in record, so they never get that piece out, and also the funding, there is no funding,” Fusco said.

However, should there be a window into a student’s classroom in the first place?

“You want to play Big Brother every moment? That’s not how society should be. We need to get back to where we have trust, we have value, we have faith we have conversations, and we can work things out if something happens,” Fusco said.

The bill is still currently in the house…