Letter to the Editor: Is it time to hold newspaper columnists accountable? | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Is it time to hold newspaper columnists accountable?

Barbara Peterson

According to Education Week, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida State Education Commissioner Manny Diaz questioned the very issues addressed in Paul Olson’s column titled “Sorry, That Book Has Been Banned.” The column was published Tuesday, April 25, in the Summit Daily.

Olson claims to be “A Friendly Conservative,” but conservatives expect journalists to do accurate research. It only took a few keystrokes to find that DeSantis actually wondered why they were banned. Instead your article suggests that DeSantis encourages rampant banning of books. Check out the law also. There is nothing about people facing felony charges if they “traumatize students by saying something negative about America.” According to the Florida Senate website in the bill summary, each public elementary school, as part of their procedures in book selection, must “Require book selections to be free of pornography and prohibited materials harmful to minors, suited to student needs, and appropriate for the grade level and age group.” Sounds like a rational approach to our 5- to 11-year-old children’s education. They get enough sexualization, hate and bias on television and the internet. Let’s save books for just educating.

Education Week also posted that DeSantis and Diaz blamed districts for overreacting and removing the books in a press conference about “the book banning hoax.”

Additionally, according to a post on WJCTNews.org, “None of the books on the list have been banned or challenged in Duval Schools, a spokeswoman told WJCT News on Tuesday. Rather, the books are under review, a process complicated by staffing shortages as administrative staff cover for classroom vacancies.” 

I also suggest you change your column description, “A Friendly Conservative.” What exactly does that title suggest? Readers don’t need columnists who neglect to research and write with due diligence. There are a multitude of liberals already doing that!

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