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‘As a teacher, I feel attacked’

Educators speak out in new FEA ads about assault on their freedoms

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Education Association (FEA) released a new series of digital advertisements today that feature public school teachers speaking out about attempts by some state legislators to take away teachers’ freedoms to speak up for their students and profession.

As public school teacher Mary Morton says in one spot: “When I hear some state lawmakers come after my freedoms, as a teacher, I feel attacked. Tallahassee has no right to tell me how to advocate for my students.”

The attack is particularly discordant after so many educators have gone above and beyond for students during the pandemic, elementary school teacher Amy Hawkins notes. “The lawmakers in Tallahassee seem to have forgotten how big this really is, and how much we’ve really done, when they try to pass bills like this that want to shut down my ability to continue to work for my students.”

Teacher Lare Allen sees the situation from a veteran’s perspective. “Thirty years ago, I fought in Desert Storm to protect America’s freedom. Now state lawmakers are trying to take away my freedom.”

Spots in the new series will begin running today on digital media:

FEA’s “Do Your Part” digital ad, released in March, logged more than 9.5 million impressions on social media. The full 30-second ad has been watched more than 7 million times.

Senate Bill 1014 and House Bill 835, currently moving through legislative committees, single out K-12 teachers and higher education faculty for an unconscionable assault on their rights and freedoms. Taxpayers would pay the cost, potentially $400,000, for the extra paperwork created by these big government bills. Senate Bill 1014 will be considered by the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday.

CONTACT: Joni Branch, joni.branch@floridaea.org

The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with 150,000 members. FEA represents PreK-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees. Connect with FEA on Facebook, Twitter and at https://feaweb.org.

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