Jesus. Effing. Christ. Thank God for the The Herald-Advocate. Heaven only knows what shenanigans are going on these days because nobody's looking.

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As a retired associate professor of Sociology and resident of Central Florida, I find this news as yet another terrifying sign of the decline of Higher Education in Florida, if not the decline of the America envisioned by its founders.

The only problem Florida schools have with ideological indoctrination is that being imposed by our governor. Florida’s educators are not engaging in indoctrination - a word that implies limits and narrowness of subject matter and knowledge - by sharing multiple perspectives, covering the full spectrum of our nation’s and state’s diverse population, nor by encouraging students to critically examine taken-for granted assumptions. These are the hallmarks of scientific inquiry and advanced reasoning, not ideological Indoctrination.

Ironically, the actual definition of “woke,” a word originating amongst 1930s Harlem musicians/performers, calls out a similar perspective of awareness & knowing, one that fits well within our Nation’s Founders ideas of education and knowledge, including the belief that knowledge is power. The word “woke” (it has never been a culture or ideology), like our modern public school curriculum, moves us away from a past that did impose ideological-based limits to the knowledge available to students, and the similar limits that our Governor is imposing on Florida Education

America’s first Patriots and Founders were quite clear - they believed that a expansive Liberal Arts Education was essential to American Freedom and Liberty (Liberal, as in the French source of the word, Liberated, or more precisely, the Liberation of the Mind), as it would teach our children multiple perspectives of all the disciplines, including both the successes and failures of our own, and other nations, governments past and present.

A liberated mind - one that is free to explore all knowledge, without parochial (local; familial) limits - is the fundamental foundation for a Liberated and Free People. Without it, America and the ideals left to us by the Founders, is lost. (I do encourage everyone to take the time to read some of the original papers/correspondences of America’s Founders; I wonder if many of us have learned this history primarily through the highly edited interpretations of others - I’ve been doing just this for the last 4-5 years, and it has been eye-opening, especially when these works are compared to what currently passes as political speech & debate in our country)

What we are seeing today is a direct attack on the very kind of education our founders envisioned for Americans. It’s not the first attack - after years of defunding public education, a growing anti-intellectualism equal only to the growth of conspiracy theories, pseudo-science, lies and misinformation, and a politically motivated push for far-right Christian ideologically-based policy and activism, we are now perhaps in the final massive attack on public access to scientific knowledge and factual information. I am shocked and terrified by the signs of tyranny in our (Florida) Governor’s words and actions; it should likewise concern anyone who believes that students ought to receive the highest quality of education and access to knowledge from our State’s schools and colleges/universities.

With DeSantis taking control of our States education, choosing what he believes is or isn’t valid knowledge, I believe Florida students will not find success outside of Florida, nor will they be considered top candidates for Stateside or International institutions or businesses. But our Governor will succeed in producing a new generation of Americans who lack the knowledge and ability to understand and protect the human rights of Liberty and Freedom from tyranny.

Final note:

Its been my observation over the years that those in power like to tell the masses that maybe their children aren’t “college-material” or that intellectuals/scientists are self-serving, biased and are dangerous to the White Christen Culture they say should prevail in America. Yet, those leaders, and the wealthy people behind them who donate substantial sums of money - both legally and not - to political leaders campaigns and other activities, pay top dollar for access to, and control over, knowledge. And their children - who from my experience are not anymore or less “prepared” for higher education - are always presumed to be “college-ready”.

This serves as an excellent reminder of an early paper written by John Adams (1765), Knowledge is Power, and without knowledge, People will not even know what it means to have Liberty or a Freedom, never mind achieve it. That’s why he argues that both Church and State have long worked to control access to knowledge and the dissemination of new advances in knowledge; it’s this control that allows both church and state, independently and together, to control, and remain in power over, people.

Think about that the next time you hear DeSantis or other politicians talk about education, educators and scientists.

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this is harrowing, Jason, and telling of the greater plan the Republican MAGA party has in mind - they closed my university in Portland, using similar tactics - MTG's Hot Chalk was involved, too - Concordia University Portland - serving 5000 students - online - education, social work, transformational leadership - mostly "underserved" populations and women - 150 year old campus - gone in a year - How can we stop their deadly momentum? Once a school is gone, libraries are gone, social services, gone - we will continue to have the majority of our populations living in agony and a few lapping up the wealth of the world - what Ronald Reagan and the post-Nixon Republicans did was destroy social services - closing hospitals and building prisons - yikes!

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Thanks for exposing this situation.

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GOP Governors have been doing this routinely in Florida. Jeb Bush did. Rick Scott did it. Ron DeSantis is, also. Academic Freedom is nowhere to be found in Florida. Repubs are determined to dumb down our citizenry.

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Somebody needs to interview those three highly qualified candidates who withdrew at the last minute. They had to be pressured to do so.

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This is funny. The media is a tool, and the media 'journalists' think that they are hurting Ron DeSantis by creating a narrative that he is a runaway train that can never be allowed to be President. However, Ron is pulling a lot of heat away from Don. Each one takes a swipe at the other, and when one does something to make the media vultures circle, the other does something else, and the media turns its head. Kind of like the Eye of Sauron. When I see it in my head, Don and Ron are above a stage, and they have the media puppets' strings in their hands. Don-Ron'24

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