Based on a report by The Florida Capital Star, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) has initiated a review of all links on the FDOE website “to make sure information is relevant, current, and appropriate.”
A report by The Capital Star found that there were external links on a FDOE webpage related to bullying that redirected users to left-wing advocacy groups promoting controversial gender policies. After the report, FDOE officials took down the webpage.
Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried criticized the DeSantis administration for FDOE taking down the webpage. Fried said the move was dangerous for students.
“This is yet another example of Governor DeSantis ignoring and erasing the needs of the LGBTQ community in our state,” Fried said. “LGBTQ students experience higher rates of bullying and suicide, and as a result it is crucial that state leaders do everything in our power to advocate for these students and provide them with these important resources to foster a safe learning environment for all. This is a dangerous move by the DeSantis Administration and unfortunately continues the Governor’s troubling trend of undermining policies intended to keep Florida students safe.”
After the review, FDOE released a statement this past week that said, ” Unfortunately, the links we reviewed were to U.S. DOE webpages that had previously provided helpful guidance and information, but now are being used as platforms for advocacy. As you can imagine, our website contains numerous website links to outside sources that we have no control over. The content embedded within those links can also change dramatically without our knowledge. We simply cannot vouch for the content of all of these external sources as we make sure resources align to standards and best practices.”
The statement indicated that FDOE was now reviewing all links on the FDOE website.
“As a result, of the content found on the U.S. DOE website, we are now reviewing all links to the federal government on our website to make sure information is relevant, current, and appropriate,” read the statement.”Thankfully, the Florida Department of Education also provides students and their families with access to useful information through other means as well, including direct contact with superintendents, principals and school boards, and by maintaining strong, appropriate curriculums.
The statement concluded by adding, “Clearly, we support all students – no student deserves to be bullied in school for any reason – the health and safety of Florida’s 2.9 million students is our utmost priority. To suggest otherwise is simply false.”
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Steve Stewart is the Managing Editor and a contributor at The Florida Capital Star. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Florida Department of Education” by Florida Department of Education.