Teachers union says Governor’s claim ‘defund the police’ is being taught in schools is a ‘farce’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — At a campaign event in Jacksonville today, Governor Ron DeSantis asserted some schools are teaching children about defunding the police.

But the state’s largest teachers union is calling that claim nonsense.

The Governor made the claim while addressing a crowd of law enforcement at a campaign stop in Jacksonville.

“Some of those curriculum, those ideological curriculum, they attack the police in some of these curriculum. They talk about defunding the police,” said DeSantis.

The Governor’s statement came as he highlighted legislation that would ban Critical Race Theory in Public schools and would allow parents to sue school districts for violations.

“I think this is clearly a farce,” said Andrew Spar, President of the Florida Education Association.

Spar called the Governor’s claim ‘shocking’.

“Our teachers not only work with law enforcement on a regular basis and I think have close relationships with law enforcement, but a lot of educators are also married to law enforcement,” said Spar.

The teachers union is opposing both the CRT ban and a bill opponents have dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which prohibits teachers from discussing topics like sexuality and gender identity in the classroom.

Spar argued culture wars spilling over into the classroom is taking a toll on educators.

“And this continued scapegoating and undermining of our teachers is what’s driving this mass exodus from our public schools,” said Spar.

We did reach out to the Florida Department of Education and asked if it was aware of any incidents or complaints of defunding the police being taught in Florida classrooms.

The Florida Department of Education pointed us to two incidents of police officers being cast in a bad light in Florida schools.

One example, included this book, which was used as assigned reading in a Broward County school that the Department says portrays police as ‘racist liars.’

The Department also sent us a transcript of a video shown to Sarasota students chronicling the 2020 Black Lives Matter Movement.

The transcript includes multiple references to controversial police-involved killings of Black men and promotes police reform, but never directly reference defund the police.

Click here for a link to the book.

View the video transcript below: