The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion The inanity of Ron DeSantis’s book-banning

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 24 in Orlando. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
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Thank goodness for Dana Milbank’s fun April 20 Wednesday Opinion column, “DeSantis saves Florida kids from being indoctrinated.” As a retired Virginia public high school math teacher, I thought that I was “grooming” my students to prepare them to enter their dream colleges or a career of their choice and make their families proud of their academic achievements. Now I learn from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) that certain math terms passed down through generations of mathematical study are suddenly shameful and dangerous. Who knew?

I bet John Glenn was very glad Katherine Johnson was “indoctrinated” and “groomed” in mathematics when he wanted her to check the numbers before he flew his historic orbit.

Thank you, Mr. Milbank, for pointing out the sad inanity of Mr. DeSantis’s math book-banning.

Florence Cadogan, Springfield

I don’t mean to go off on a tangent, but I noticed that “functions modeling” was also included in the offending textbooks in Florida. We can all predict what modeling leads to. Right? Does Florida really need to know the paths and timings of hurricanes? And what about the metric system? Talk about exposing innocent minds to converting. Supporters don’t even try to hide their intent. The Metric Conversion Act of 1975 was signed into law by that radical, President Gerald Ford, who was probably under the influence of the subversive al-gebra movement at the time. Who needs a decimal system for weights and measures? NASA does. Please, Florida. Teach math.

Jan Clarkson, Kensington

I thank Dana Milbank for answering a question that was bothering me: What could be in mathematics texts that would cause anybody, even the Florida governor, to ban them? I even taught calculus many years ago and, think as I would, could come up with nothing untoward. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention.

Emily Johnston, Sykesville, Md.