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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CDF PURSUES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST MDCSB FOR VIOLATING SUNSHINE LAW

As part of CDF's Education Oversight operations; in April of this year, the Miami-Dade CDF team conducted a review of two Human Reproduction & Disease Education textbooks that were recommended to and being considered for adoption by the Miami-Dade County School Board. The team found that significant portions of the material are not age-appropriate, usurp parental rights, and violate Florida State Law. Moreover, the Miami-Dade County CDF team closely monitored the Instructional Materials Review Committee process that resulted in the recommendation of these books to the School Board. They found that the entire process was executed in a veiled fashion with grave Sunshine Law violations, and therefore did not enable sufficient parental and community involvement. Nonetheless, the Miami-Dade School Board voted in favor of adopting these books for the 2022-2023 school year.

Miami-Dade County CDF facilitated a civic engagement initiative for parents and community members to officially petition the School Board, and Miami-Dade County CDF leadership in Miami worked with School Board members to inform them of the legal implications of proceeding with the adoption of these books. Consequently, on July 20, 2022, the School Board voted 5-4 to remove the books from the curriculum and to restart the entire textbook review, selection, and adoption process.

For reasons of which we can only speculate, the Miami-Dade School Board chair called an Emergency Meeting on July 28 and, in our assessment, unlawfully rescinded the Board’s action from the July 20 meeting, flipped her vote, and re-adopted the books.

These actions require that Citizens Defending Freedom proceed with the final stage of our process, which is to take legal action. Our legal team has submitted a Demand Letter to the Miami-Dade County School Board Chair and School Board attorney, putting them on notice (yet again) of the Sunshine Law violations committed by the School Board and the District Instructional Materials Review Committee that the School Board abdicated their constitutional authority to. The letter demands that the Miami-Dade School Board rescind their recent, unlawful re-adoption of the textbooks and restart the textbooks review, recommendation, and adoption process in compliance with Sunshine Law, and therefore facilitating sufficient parental and community involvement and participation in the process. The School Board has until Friday September 30, 2022, to respond to our Demand Letter. A lack of response, or an unsatisfactory response will be followed by a lawsuit. We will keep you informed as this story develops.

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