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Miami-Dade County School Board settles Sunshine Law lawsuit with Citizens Defending Freedom

MIAMI — A nonprofit based in Polk County announced Monday that it has reached a settlement with the Miami-Dade County School Board to ensure that the board follows Florida’s Sunshine Law in the process of adopting instructional materials.


Florida’s public meetings law, Section 286.011, commonly called the Sunshine Law, provides citizens a right of access to governmental proceedings at the state and local levels.


In an October 2022 lawsuit, Citizens Defending Freedom (CDF) claimed that the Miami-Dade School Board was in violation of the Sunshine Law after the board allegedly delegated the selection of the school district’s human reproduction and disease education curriculum to hand-selected committees, which met privately to review the materials.

For a copy of the settlement agreement, please click here.


Later, the school board allegedly ratified the privately made decisions by those committees.


As part of the settlement, the school board does not admit fault or wrongdoing for its past actions but acknowledges that its instructional review committees will meet according to Florida’s Sunshine Law moving forward. 


“Miami-Dade County CDF will continue to provide oversight to ensure the Miami-Dade School Board will continue to follow Florida’s Sunshine Law,” said Isabella Rodriguez, the executive director for Miami-Dade County Citizens Defending Freedom.


This settlement comes amidst recent statutory changes in Florida enhancing parental rights in the curriculum selection process and imposing greater oversight of curriculum at the state level.


The matter initially arose when CDF members in Miami-Dade County challenged sex education curriculum that the group said was graphic in nature, and that students could sufficiently learn about sex education without the graphic curriculum.

“Part of CDF’s core mission is holding elected officials accountable," said James H. K. Bruner, Director of the Florida Office of Legal Affairs for CDF. "For that awareness to occur, school districts must operate in the light of day. We’re pleased with the settlement agreement we’ve reached with the Miami-Dade County School Board and we’re content in their acknowledgement to move forward in their decisions transparently.”

Founded in 2021, Citizens Defending Freedom is a non-profit organization that strategically operates in counties across America to help citizens defend their faith and freedom, all while fighting for transparency in local government. Currently, Citizens Defending Freedom is established in Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Texas. The group is rapidly expanding its footprint and expects to grow into one of America’s largest political nonprofits. Click here to learn more about Citizens Defending Freedom.



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