September 26, 2022

OP-ED: Gov. Ron DeSantis is destroying Florida’s schools with his scheme to hire unqualified vets

OP-ED: Gov. Ron DeSantis is destroying Florida's schools with his scheme to hire unqualified veterans

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Governor Ron DeSantis is destroying the educational system in Florida. He is purposely politicizing the curriculum and making dangerous decisions by hiring veterans with no adequate experience to teach our children.

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At first, I thought that these decisions regarding the banning of books and Critical Race Theory (CRT) from schools were just plain ignorance. I wondered what experience my governor had in education, but finding out that he actually has teaching experience as a history teacher just made me feel worse.

It all suggests that DeSantis is purposely politicizing the curriculum to brainwash the minds of children in order to prevent them from learning actual history and to help mold their minds to become full-blown racists and to continue to vote for fascist Republicans like DeSantis himself.

It’s a dangerous and ignorant idea to hire veterans to teach kids. As a teacher and veteran himself, DeSantis should know that there is a huge difference between teaching adult troops and teaching children.

Of course, being a vet provides lots of unique experiences, but those experiences they’ve learned in the military do not compare to the training that is specifically needed to teach children. Also, we need to know if there is a vetting system in place to evaluate these potential soldier-teachers and what that consists of.

School shootings have risen in recent years, and it’s common knowledge that veterans who have been in combat often get PTSD. What happens if an active shooter situation goes down in the classroom, and PTSD is triggered? It’s possible that the veteran could have a PTSD-triggered reaction and wouldn’t know the difference between the shooter or the kids and staff.

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Now, I am not saying that veterans don’t have the right to a normal life. They absolutely do.

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I am a veteran as well who is pursuing higher education and a second career. There are, however, concerns that should be addressed for the safety of the children.

Now, I think what would actually help the teacher shortage is giving schools the funds they need to provide teachers with the equipment and supplies to be able to teach without paying for them out of the teachers’ own pockets. You can also search for the hashtag #Clearthelist, which links to teachers’ requests for funds from donations to help provide supplies.

What Governor DeSantis can also do is give teachers a raise and start paying them a living wage with more benefits to help with retention and recruitment.

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Educators and school boards can get involved with the community and explain exactly what is being taught, the importance of learning actual history, and the dangers of politicizing education.

Instead of having a “war on woke-ism” in school, why not do something about the bullying, racism, and incidents of prejudice that happen in schools all the time?

Unfortunately, Governor DeSantis won’t help with any of these ideas because he is an incipient fascist. The only way we can stop the politicization of our educational system is to vote for a new governor in the November elections.

David M. Weissman is a former Republican who has seen the light. You can follow him on Twitter here.

This is an opinion column that solely represents the viewpoint of the author. 

David Weissman

Opinion columnist and Army veteran. Former MAGA, now a Biden voter.

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