Teaching in Ron DeSantis's Florida (w/ Philip Belcastro & Brennen Pickett)
Things are getting very dark in Florida, and educators at all levels have found themselves on the frontlines of a reactionary political crusade led by Republican governor Ron DeSantis. "As the new semester began," Florida-based journalist Michael Sainato recently reported, "teachers throughout Florida were faced with new state laws strictly limiting curricula—prompting schools to remove droves of books from their classrooms and libraries for fear of being in violation of the draconian but opaque new laws. An already-chilling reality gripping the third most populous state is getting even chillier in the wake of controversial legislation such as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the Stop Woke Act, which both went into effect in July 2022." What is it like teaching in DeSantis's Florida today? For those who haven't already fled the state or left the profession altogether, what do these sweeping, draconian policy changes translate to on the day-to-day level for educators, and how can we stand in solidarity with them? In this episode, we talk with Philip Belcastro and Brennen Pickett, two public high school English teachers and union members in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the hosts of the PCTA FYRE podcast.
Additional links/info below...
- PCTA FYRE podcast (listen and subscribe)
- Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram
- Kerry Sheridan, WUSF, "Tallahassee Isn't Asking What Teachers Think. So They Started a Podcast"
- Michael Sainato, The Real News Network, "‘It’s Disrupted All of My Lesson Plans’: Florida Ramps Up Book Bans, Censorship"
- Michael Sainato, The Real News Network, "Florida’s Racist and Anti-LGBTQ Bills Are Already Having a Chilling Effect"
- McKenna Schueler, Orlando Weekly, "All the Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws Being Proposed in Florida — And How You Can Fight Back"
- McKenna Schueler, Orlando Weekly, "‘This Is Our Future’: UCF Students Join Statewide Student Protest of DeSantis’ ‘Dystopian’ Education Policies"
- Ariel Schiller, WTXL Tallahassee, "Senate Bill 256 Would Change Florida's Unions"
- Fabiola Cineas, Vox, "Ron DeSantis’s War on “Woke” in Florida Schools, Explained"
Permanent links below...
- Working People Patreon page
- Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
- Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
- Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song