A Florida school system fired a substitute teacher after finding that he had lied about the number of books available at a public school library in an effort to disparage Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
In response to DeSantis’ stance on contentious books, Brian Covey uploaded a video of several empty school bookcases from Mandarin Middle School onto social media. This video received millions of views.
The goal of the policy is to shield kids from books that contain defamatory messages about sexual orientation and gender identity that are promoted by LGBTQ activists.
Covey discussed his actions with WFGA-TV.
According to Covey, “that’s exactly what others were claiming wasn’t happening, so I simply wanted to send into the depths of social media what was the actuality that I could see through my own two eyes.”
Later, when a WFGA reporter questioned the governor about claims made regarding the video, the governor dismissed the claims as untrue.
DeSantis stated, “Actually, you know, that video, that was a phony story. That wasn’t accurate,
Covey was fired as a result of the governor’s remarks.
Covey’s dismissal was addressed in a statement by Duval County Public Schools.
“Following a conversation between the district and ESS about the disruption this person’s false portrayal of the books available to pupils in the school library had caused, it was decided that he had broken the social media and cell phone rules of his company. Consequently, ESS decided it was necessary to terminate this person’s employment due to these policy infractions.”
A representative for Duval County Public Schools, Tracy Pierce, outlined how Covey’s film misrepresented the truth.
“People can use their own judgment, but it’s a bogus accusation given that more than half of the books, perhaps two thirds or more, are totally accessible to children,” he said of the unsettling sight of empty bookcases.
According to WFGA, the school library’s fiction shelves were barren but its non-fiction shelves were stocked with volumes.
When Covey was questioned about the reason for his firing, he explained that other books that were left out were shielded from children’s access by other items.
On the opposite side of the library, Covey said, “they literally had whiteboards, tables, TVs, everything heaped in front of the other books. They claim it’s a misrepresentation,” Covey said.
“To me, that’s storage. Storage is when there are open shelves throughout the library and volumes are stacked one on top of the other,” he said.
Liberal campaigners assert that sex-themed publications are essential to prevent the suppression of children’s feelings of gender and sexual identity uncertainty. The argument put forth by opponents is that parents need to have the authority to choose what their children are exposed to in public schools.