FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show A List Of Books Banned In Florida Schools?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a list of books that were recently banned in all Florida public schools.

Verdict: False

The list is fabricated. A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Education denied its authenticity.

Fact Check:

Collier County School District added advisory labels to 115 books in February, Naples Daily News reported. Most of the books, which were challenged by parents and community members, were books that featured LGBTQ+ characters, characters of color and sexual-themed content, the outlet reported.

Now, an image shared on Facebook claims to show a list of books that are banned in Florida schools. “A list of books banned if Florida Schools,” reads the image’s caption. “These people are bloody nuts.”

The purported image shows a list of 25 books that are supposedly banned, including George Orwell’s “1984,” J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” (RELATED: Did Florida Ban ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ From Its Schools?)

The list is fabricated. There are no credible news reports to suggest Florida schools banned any of these books. The claim also does not appear on the Florida Department of Education’s website or its social media pages.

“The image is fake – as far as I see it, this is just a completely fictitious list made by people potentially living in an alternate reality, ” Bryan Griffin, a spokesperson for the Executive Office of the Governor of Florida, told Check Your Fact in an email. “Some of the listed books are specifically mentioned in Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards.”

Griffin also directed Check Your Fact to a document from the state’s Department of Education outlining the state’s education standards, which includes some books on the purported list. In addition, he indicated that while the state sets guidelines about educational content, these guidelines are typically enforced by local school districts, as per statutes 1006.28(2)(a)1 F.S and 1006.28(2)(a)2 F.S.

A new bill that requires school districts to be transparent about their curriculum for students will take effect in June 2023, Griffin said.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter