Meatball Ron Vs. The Bard: Schools In DeSantis’ Florida Are Having To Ban The Works Of Shakespeare

Today’s Republicans are first amendment absolutists, which is why they’re the ones banning (and burning!) books. Ron DeSantis’ Florida has been the most aggressive, fighting a “war on woke” so extreme that students are about to receive whitewashed lessons about American slavery. If they wanted to read Romeo and Juliet, they’re out of luck, too, as some schools are so afraid of running afoul of DeSantis’ draconian laws that they’re having to gut most of the Bard.

As per Tampa Bay Times (as caught by Raw Story), English teachers in the state’s west-central Hillborough County schools are preparing their lesson plans for the upcoming new school year by largely excluding the work of William Shakespeare. Instead of reading some of his plays, as has long been custom in American high school, students will only be handed excerpts. Why? Because teachers are no longer allowed to teach works that are sexual in nature.

“There’s some raunchiness in Shakespeare,” one reading teacher told the publication. “Because that’s what sold tickets during his time.”

Instead of reading Hamlet or Macbeth or The Merchant of Venice or (especially) the aforementioned teen favorite Romeo and Juliet, they’ll have to do so on their own time, without the guide of a teacher who could help them tease out the complexities of Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter. If an educator did make them read the relatively (but not really) saucy Twelfth Night, they could be punished by DeSantis’ goons.

Technically this is a case of teachers mostly removing Shakespeare from their curricula, not DeSantis’ team, who have laid out vague rules that could lead to real punishment. In other words teachers are taking the safe route, albeit knowing that will deprive students of having their minds broadened.

“I think the rest of the nation — no, the world, is laughing us,” said reading teacher explained. “Taking Shakespeare in its entirety out because the relationship between Romeo and Juliet is somehow exploiting minors is just absurd.”

And so instead of reading Romeo and Juliet in class alongside knowledgeable teachers, students will have to make do with the flashy movie featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, and a song by the great Butthole Surfers.

(Via Tampa Bay Times and Raw Story)