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Broward School Board meeting gets heated over book banning

Broward School Board meeting gets heated over banned books
Broward School Board meeting gets heated over banned books 03:10

MIAMI - The topic of book bans once again sparked heated debate at a Broward County School Board meeting.

During public comment Tuesday, Pastor John Amanchukwu read several explicit passages from the book "Push" by Sapphire. He stated the book was available at a public school library, despite some salacious content and language.

While he was quoting the book, his microphone was cut off, effectively silencing him.

"You all reviewed this book and said it was educational. And you're muting my mic again. Why? Because you don't want to be challenged," he said. "You are a hypocrite Lori (Alhadeff). You're silencing my microphone because you say it's educational."

He was speaking to Board Chair Lori Alhadeff, who stated the meeting needed to maintain decorum. Alhadeff also had this exchange with Board Member Brenda Fam: ... Who then had this exchange with member Brenda Fam.

"Mrs. Fam, you're out of order," Alhadeff said.

"This is not the time to speak to it? When should I speak to it?," Fam asked, regarding when she'd have an opportunity to respond to Amanchukwu's comments. She was told to wait until the end of the meeting, but she added "This was found not to be pornographic and yet his microphone was cut off."

Then came the topic of banning the Bible.

"The Bible belongs in church, your home, your heart," Ken Minchew said when Fam interrupted him. "I don't believe we need the Bible in our public schools. There is separation of church and state. We need to continue that."

Minchew also quoted the Bible, citing a passage in "Ezekiel" in which a woman is described as "whoring openly" and "flaunting her nakedness", to suggest that it, too, contained explicit content.

But others spoke in support of keeping the Bible in schools, and the board ultimately agreed.

"The separation of church and state was never meant to kick God out of the public square or out of the classroom. It was so the government could not force you to believe or not believe," Steve Tasson said.

On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that amends the state's law to limit the number of books and classroom materials that can be challenged in school districts.

The bill states Florida residents without children in a school district "may not object to more than one material per month".

It goes into effect July 1st. 

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