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Florida Mixed Opinions About New State Law Concerning Books in Schools

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Florida Mixed Opinions About New State Law Concerning Books in SchoolsSchool Board member Eric Cummings

Opinions are mixed in Ocala/Marion County when it comes to the new state law that requires all school districts to catalog every book on their shelves and create a formal review process for complaints.

Those opposed to the new measure believe the governor and the Republican-led state legislatures are overstepping their authority, bordering on censorship, and behaving like big government.

Eric Cummings, a pastor and current Marion County School Board member, said the law sends “a mixed message to our children.”

On the one hand, the state is saying, “we want you to read.” On the other hand, Cummings said, the state is saying it only wants “you to read what we tell you to read.”

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“That’s propaganda,” Cummings said.

Cummings said the law could lead some school districts to ban classic books like “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

School Board member Eric Cummings© [Submitted photo]

School Board Chairwoman Allison Campbell said of the new law: “Our challenge is how to implement it.”

Calling it “a significant challenge,” Campbell said every school district is different, so achieving consistency in implementation will be difficult.