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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Just saw that in my editing of the above comment, I accidentally cut the first sentence - thanking you for bringing this very important news to our attention. Even if larger news organizations reported on DeSantis’s disrespectful appointment of a politician w/o experience in higher ed, few people feel they have the time (or the desire) to read beyond the headline. If it weren’t for individual and local efforts to report the news that should be front page, headline stories, we’d all be in the dark - yet another strike against the Founders - their belief in a free and honest press.

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Floriduh for a reason.

Very unfair start for Floridians children. But where's the outcry?

No where, a dumbed down society that takes Government verbiage as truth.

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Well, Christians aren't the only group who disapprove. The Jews and especially the Muslims disapprove. Nobody wants their kids exposed to sex when they are children. You don't get to choose for everyone.

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I just saw this. My only advice is be careful with that word “nobody”... statistically unlikely, nor is it true per a variety of polls and surveys that finds a great deal of variation in attitudes and interpretations amongst folks who follow these and other religions. This would be one of those instances where one commits the very offense they accuse others of doing. Just something to think about. FYI, I highly recommend one of John Adams earliest papers, “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law”, 1765. It provides some essential insights in the danger of allowing those in power to decide what knowledge the people can and can not have access to. Note Adams stated reason for people to have full access to knowledge - to both understand and resist domination and oppression.

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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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You forgot to mention Charlie Crist. He was in the GOP when he was governor. Remember?

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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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Im very sorry to hear about the closing of your college

I’m an Oregonian - I used to be very proud of my home State, where my ancestors homesteaded after the harrowing trip across the county via wagon train.

But I don’t recognize my home State anymore - and as I read online the whining complaints of well-to-do people who have moved into Portland, Or., and with the help of developers and their money hungry partners, now spend their time complaining about Oregon “Liberals” ruining “their” city, blaming those weak, soft polo pans for the rise in crime, drug addiction and homelessness.

Isn’t ironic that many of these folks don’t see that it was their “gentrification” of the city, then engaging the same of kind neglect of poorer communities and populations that was practiced wherever they from, that has contributed to the growth of many of those problems (ie criminals prefer to congregate in neighborhoods where city services, including an active police presence, are at the lowest).

When I suggest to these folks that solutions involve far more knowledge and and understanding of intersecting causal variables than accomplished by simply blaming someone else or the victims, I am told that the problem is that “those” people (who they see as the problem) need to accept that they have been proved out of the city and need to move somewhere else.

Instead of drawing on the enormous available research and knowledge about these issues, they just close the colleges down or attempt to stamp out that awful, liberal ideology - like the “golden rule” and “love thy neighbor” - and punish/remove those terrible people that disrupt their fantasy of the “good life.”

So depressing.

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