In a previous post, we discussed how Oklahoma has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this year – which is a little upsetting since it’s only March and they've managed to cause a year's worth of embarrassment already.
From the Oklahoma University racist frat house video to Sen. Jim Inhofe’s now-infamous snowball toss on the Senate floor to disprove climate change – the Sooner State has been in a really bad position in 2015.
However, there is one other state which has fared a lot worse than Oklahoma.
Yes, you guessed that right. It’s Florida.
Following is a list of the Sunshine State’s ignoble appearance in the news which will definitely make Oklahomans feel a lot better.
1. ‘Guns In School’ Bill
A controversial bill that would allow personnel in some public schools to carry guns is currently advancing in the Florida legislature – despite protests from gun control groups like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
“I just don't think guns in schools mix. I think we're not setting enough minimum standards here,'' argued state Rep. Joe Geller, D-Miami, during a committee debate on the bill. "I don't think an American sniper approach is the way to protect our kids.''
2. Officials Ban "Climate Change"
Almost the entire country was appalled when it was revealed that officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are barred from using the words “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communication, according to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
The unwritten policy went into effect when Gov. Rick Scott – who has repeatedly denied climate change as a result of human activity – took office in 2011.
3. Mom Beats Kid, Sends Her To School With Grade-Shaming T-Shirt
A Florida mom made news after allegedly beating her daughter, then sending her to school wearing an embarrassing T-shirt that shamed her for getting bad grades. It also warned her friends – and any prospective boyfriends – to "back off before I get another good woopin like I got last night."
Fortunately, she was arrested over charges of child abuse.
4. "Patriotic" Film Required In Florida's High Schools
In a bid to counter anti-Americanism in history classes, Florida lawmakers proposed a bill that would require students to watch a controversial patriotic film not once, but twice, before graduation – unless, of course, their parents submit written permission for their child to be exempt.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, believes the movie should be a part of the curriculum because it counters the "lies" being taught in classrooms.
"Frankly, it's embarrassing that we allow these lies to be taught in our school system," Hays told The News-Press. "Unfortunately, our parents and our school board members have not kept up with the misrepresentation of American history that is being perpetrated in our school system, and this movie gives a totally different view."
However, America, directed by conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza who has been charged with campaign finance fraud, was widely panned by critics as partisan, rightwing propaganda.
5. Cops Slaps, Shoves Homeless Man
A homeless man was pushed, slapped and downed by a police officer at Broward bus station in Florida – the most dangerous state in the nation for homeless people.
A cell phone video recording of the incident was posted online and subsequently went viral, prompting outrage from across the country.
6. Rep. Alcee Hastings Says Texas Is A "Crazy" State
During a meeting of the House Rules Committee, Florida Representative Alcee Hastings called Texas a “crazy state.”
“I don’t know about in your state, which I think is a crazy state to begin with – and I mean that just as I said it,” Hastings said when he questioned Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas about choosing not to implement parts of the Affordable Care Act.
7. Bullying On Bus Footage
A Florida mother released footage of her daughter being pummeled on the school bus by bullies in order to get the school authorities’ attention. According to Nikki Lee, the bus driver did not intervene to stop the fight.
“They basically beat her like she was nothing,” Lee told WSOCTV.
After the video went viral, the school board said they were investigating the incident and the children involved in the bullying encounter on the bus were “being disciplined according to the Code of Conduct.”
8. If Gays Can Marry In Florida, No One Can
As the ban on same-sex marriages was lifted in Florida, several counties in the state refused to hold courthouse marriage ceremonies. Though the reason behind the decision wasn’t clear, the Washington Times reported:
“Several counties in Florida have put the kibosh on performing any weddings as a sort of duck and dodge against serving gays – the logic being that clerks with religious objections to homosexual marriage aren’t breaking any laws if they don’t offer services to anyone.”
9. Politicians Overly Considered About Bathroom Behavior
Florida state Rep. Frank Artiles (R) of Miami recently filed the Single-Sex Public Facilities Act that would make it a crime for a person to enter a public facility designated as single-sex that does not accord to one's biological sex at birth.
The bill disproportionately targets transgender people who want to use single-sex restrooms that match their identity.
10. Florida Police Use Black Men's Photos For Target Practice
At a time when the whole nation was protesting fatal police shootings of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, it was revealed that Florida police department lets its North Miami Beach cops use photos of African-American males to aim their shots at.
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