TAMARAC, FLA. (WSVN) - South Florida educators and a National teachers union have come forward to say that public education is under fire, and they are blaming Florida’s governor. They say Ron DeSantis is dividing the state and causing irreparable harm.

Randi Weingarten is the President of the American Federation of Teachers. She visited Dillard High School on Wednesday.

She is touring schools across both Miami-Dade County and Broward County to address the COVID slide and said DeSantis isn’t helping the issue and is instead politicizing education to win votes, which has students suffering.

“When we would ask the governor instead of smearing teachers, instead of calling them names, roll up your sleeves and work with us to actually help kids thrive,” said Weingarten.

According to educators, DeSantis is attempting to destroy public education. From the Don’t Say Gay Bill to limiting what teachers are able to say in the classroom about race, gender and even history.

“We want to teach history– all history,” said DeSantis. “It’s gotta be accurate, though, and we are not going to be in a situation where we are taking George Washington’s name off of schools, taking down statues of Thomas Jefferson, and that’s what those people who want CRT [Critical Race Theory] wanna do.”

“Teachers are truth tellers,” said Antonio White, Vice President of United Teachers of Dade. “We believe in history, and now we can’t teach honest history.”

The governor has since suspended four Broward County School Board Members who were all women and all Democrats last month. He said they mishandled public funds.

“He replaced them with four Republican men who could never get elected in a county like Broward County,” said White. “But that in itself says a great deal of what is going on in this state today.”

A group of educators and members are asking the governor to fully fund public school education and expand on services like mental health.

However, these educators said DeSantis’ focus is on grandstanding to the country instead of serving students and teachers here in South Florida.

“Democracy is not based on one man. This is not a Cuba or Venezuela or any of those places. Our democracy is based on representatives for the people of the people and by the people,” said White, “and right now, we simply don’t have that.”

The Teachers Union of Broward County and Miami-Dade County said voters have a say and that will occur in November.

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