HB 741 should apply to all schools receiving local, state and federal tax money. No tax money should be going to schools tolerating religious bigotry.

Sponsors and co-sponsors of HB 741:

Representatives Fine, Caruso, Donalds, Fischer, Killebrew, LaMarca and Roach

HB 741 adds religion to the list in 1000.05 of the Florida statutes.

Please offer feedback if  there is something that I’m missing.

Jason Fischer is one of the sponsors of HB 741 and he is my representative. I feel passionate that I need to tell him he needs to quit imposing regulations on public schools that he isn’t going to apply to other schools receiving taxpayer money. IF the bill is a good one, then it should apply to all schools receiving taxpayer assistance. IF it isn’t a good one, then why should it be imposed on the public school? I also wish all the schools receiving local, state and federal financial assistance would teach sensitivity training. It seems absurd to me that SB 1410 wants to give a voucher to someone that claims to have been bullied BUT makes no recommendation for the bully or the other kids left in the school with the bully.

I have been thinking and asking people about HB 741. The sponsors I know about are BIG proponents of charters and vouchers. I fear this bill is just another regulation to harm public schools. IF their goal was to decrease discrimination then it seems to me the bill should apply to all schools receiving taxpayer money.

I know some viewed the Catholic private school boys in DC and perhaps even the Kavanaugh hearings differently than I did. BUT what I saw was several insensitive white boys. They need civility and sensitivity training as much as anyone in the public school. Did you see the part of the video where the boys *pulled* one of the two black kids to the front of the crowd to show the Black Hebrew Israelites that they had blacks in their group? Did you see the video where the one catholic private school boy said “it’s not rape if you like it”? I am not saying this to condemn them. I have said stupid insensitive stuff in my life also. What I am saying is that we ALL need civility and sensitivity training.

That said, I still want to write the sponsors of HB 741 to express my desire that this bill should be fixed in this way.  I encourage you to write the sponsors also. See list at top.

Unless I hear feedback soon, this is what I am sending to my rep who is one of the sponsors:

Honorable Representative Jason Fischer,

Since you’re one of the co-sponsors of HB 741, I am asking you to please amend HB 741 so it applies to all schools receiving local, state or federal financial assistance.  No tax money should be going to schools tolerating religious bigotry.

1. HB 741 (and 1000.05 of the Florida statutes) should apply to any school receiving local, state or federal financial assistance.
2. If it is going to point out antisemitism then it should also mention Islamophobia and anti-atheism and perhaps other minority religious groups that have felt the brunt of religious bigotry.
3. It should include funding and requirements that civility and sensitivity classes be taught in all schools receiving local, state or federal financial assistance. The class must be taught by someone certified in sensitivity training.
4. The bill should have pro-active prevention and course correction ideas MORE than punishment. Punishment should ONLY be after course correction techniques have been employed.
5. None of the language in HB 741 should be interpreted to imply that one can’t make valid criticisms of a religion.  The goal should NOT be to curtail freedom of speech in such a way that valid criticisms can’t be expressed in a civil and productive manner
6. Where possible the language of what religious bigotry means should be worded in broader terms. For example re-word lines 51 to 77 of HB 741 to read

(7) A K-20 educational institution that has received local, state or federal financial assistance must treat religious discrimination by students or employees in an identical manner to discrimination based on race. For purposes of this section, the term religious discrimination includes expressions of hatred toward the religious minority, rhetorical and physical manifestations of that bigotry directed toward a person, his or her property, or toward the community institutions or religious facilities.
(a) Examples of religious bigotry include:
1. Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of a group of people based on their religion.
2. Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about a group of people based on their religion.
3. Accusing a group of similar people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single person from that group.
4. Denying the Holocaust. Perhaps the narrative could be specific as to exactly what happened during the Holocaust.
5. Accusing a citizen of being more loyal to another country just because another person of similar ethnicity or religion has demonstrated that proclivity.

IF this is a good bill then it needs to apply to all schools that receive taxpayer money.  I worry that the legislature is burdening the neighborhood and magnet schools with excess regulations.   IF you truly feel this is worthwhile legislation then it needs to apply to all schools that receive local, state and federal financial assistance.

The focus of the bill should be to reduce and maybe eliminate bullying and religiously bigoted language.  All school children should learn that religious bigotry isn’t polite.  The idea is to address hatred based on religion, yes?  With the recent shootings at the synagogue and the mosque, we continue to wonder what we can do to prevent these tragedies.  Can we teach people not to hate?  Shouldn’t we try?  

Some people call others “snowflakes” when the so-called snowflake asks people not to use racial slurs or religiously bigoted terms. The legislature is considering a bill (SB 1410) that will give voucher money to anyone claiming to have been bullied.  But what happens to the bully and the other kids left in the school?  We need to teach kids NOT to bully whether in the public, charter or private schools receiving voucher money.

In addition to making this bill apply to ALL schools receiving local, state or federal financial assistance, please also allocate funding to teach civility and sensitivity so kids learn not to bully and not to be insensitive to others.

It shouldn’t be about punishment. It should be about course correction. Please provide funding for a required course which will teach sensitivity and civility.  The course should be required to be taught every year in any school receiving local, state or federal assistance.  The teacher of the civility course should be certified in the field of civility and their salaries should be paid from the state treasury.

Also please change the summary (and related parts of the bill) from

A bill to be entitled: An act relating to anti-Semitism; amending s. 1000.05; prohibiting discrimination in the Florida K-20 4 public education system based on religion; requiring a public K-20 educational institution to take into consideration anti-Semitism under certain instances of discrimination

to

A bill to be entitled:​ An act relating to ​the prevention of bullying​; amending s. 1000.05; ​​prohibiting discrimination based on religion in Florida K-​​20 schools that receive local, state or federal financial assistance

HB 741 should apply to all schools receiving local, state and federal tax money. No tax money should be going to schools tolerating religious bigotry.

As part of HB 741  please change 1000.05 to be clearer. Delete the word “public” so that it reads:

conducted by an educational institution that receives or benefits from federal or state or local financial assistance

Change “in the state system of public K-20 education”
to

“while in an educational institution that receives or benefits from federal or state or local financial assistance”

Then 1000.05 and your bill HB 741 would be sure to also cover charter schools and private schools that receive voucher money.  HB 741 will add “religion” to the list in 1000.05 (2)(a).  This is how it reads now before you add the word religion and hopefully make it cover all schools receiving tax money:

1000.05 (2)(a) Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status against a student or an employee in the state system of public K-20 education is prohibited. No person in this state shall, on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any public K-20 education program or activity, or in any employment conditions or practices, conducted by a public educational institution that receives or benefits from federal or state financial assistance.

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