This School Board Member Can’t Stomach Ron DeSantis’ ‘Insanity’

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

Ron DeSantis’ war on public education is going national.

At least that’s the fear of Jennifer Jenkins, a member of the Brevard County School Board, one of several Florida school boards that have undergone a rightward shift. The county’s highly accomplished superintendent, Mark Mullins, was essentially pushed out this month after candidates backed by the conservative group Moms for Liberty won election.

“Not only has he weaponized public education, made teachers the target and the enemy, but his false narrative has grown so many legs that people really are genuinely believing it,” Jenkins said on The New Abnormal podcast this week.

In 2020, Jenkins, a Democrat, unseated the Republican school board member who would go on to create Moms for Liberty. She then endured a harrowing harassment campaign that included false allegations she was a Nazi and a pedophile.

She says DeSantis and the right are sinking their teeth further into the education system with the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the “Stop Woke Act.”

“It’s insanity. It’s absolute insanity when it comes to book banning. You know, people think, ‘That’s not going to happen.’ Well no, it’s really happening.”

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Also in this episode, Daniel Nichanian, editor-in-chief of Bolts magazine, which focuses on local government and local elections, reveals just how good this past election was for Democrats.

“Democrats gained seats in Michigan and Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and flipped four chambers across these three states,” he tells co-host Andy Levy.

“Those are actually the only chamber flips of the year, Republicans flipped no chamber at all. And that is going to have huge consequences going forward in the states where Democrats did well.”

And co-host Danielle Moodie breaks down Sen. Raphael Warnock’s victory over scandal-scarred Herschel Walker in the Georgia Senate election. You can listen for yourself, but let’s just say she thinks “the force” was with him.

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