School district officials in Hillsborough County, Fla., have implemented a newly designed curriculum guide for English teachers that will see students reading only selections from William Shakespeare plays.
“There’s some raunchiness in Shakespeare. Because that’s what sold tickets during his time,” said Joseph Cool, a reading teacher at Gaither High School.
“I think the rest of the nation — no, the world, is laughing us,” he added. “Taking Shakespeare in its entirety out because the relationship between Romeo and Juliet is somehow exploiting minors is just absurd.”
Rolling Stone reports:
Schools in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa Bay and the surrounding area, are mostly assigning excerpts by the English language’s most famous writer. The schools previously required students to read two of Shakespeare’s novels or plays, in their entirety, per year.
The decision comes as educators must prepare students for a new set of state exams that cover a wide variety of subject matter, and also, “in consideration of the law,” according to a school district spokesperson, which means teaching it could open educators up to disciplinary measures if a parent were to file a complaint.
The “law” in question is the new Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teaching any content that is sexual in nature.
Florida high schools are now removing Shakespeare, including the full text of “Romeo and Juliet,” to comply with Republicans’ new law restricting “sexual content.”
“I think the rest of the nation — no, the world, is laughing at us,” a teacher said.
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) August 8, 2023
— Salon (@Salon) August 8, 2023
Shakespeare is just too much for Florida’s snowflakes on the right.👇 https://t.co/mKf1axD9wR
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 8, 2023
If your kids are go to school in Tampa, thanks to bigly failing @GovRonDeSantis, they will read Shakespeare “while avoiding anything racy or sexual,” i.e. “excerpts” from “Romeo & Juliet,” “Othello,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Macbeth” not full plays https://t.co/jETfpNm6Vy
— Michael Deibert (@michaelcdeibert) August 8, 2023