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- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the GOP-backed Parents Bill of Rights Act on Thursday.
- She said the bill could lead to banning books similar to legislation on the state level.
- Her comments came after a publisher in Florida removed mention of Parks’s race from draft teaching materials.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the story of civil rights icon Rosa Parks was “too woke” for the Republican party during an impassioned speech from the House floor on Thursday.
The New York Democrat was speaking out against the Parents Bill of Rights Act, which House Republicans are expected to pass on Friday. The education oversight bill seeks to give parents more of a say in education, and would require public schools to make materials like curriculum and library books available online, as well as the school budget.
“But before they claim that this is not about banning books and not about harming the LGBT community, let’s just look at the impacts of similar Republican legislation that has already passed on the state level. Look at these books that have already been banned due to Republican measures,” Ocasio-Cortez said before holding up several books.
—Acyn (@Acyn) March 23, 2023
“‘The Life of Rosa Parks’ — this apparently is too woke by the Republican Party,” she said, referencing a book by Kathleen Connors.
The book, which tells the story of Parks, a Black woman who refused to give up her seat to a white person, was among 176 titles banned in Florida’s Duval County, according to the nonprofit PEN America. The Duval County Public Schools district at the time said the books on the list had not been banned but were under review.
In another incident, a textbook publisher used in Florida schools removed references to Parks’s race in a draft lesson plan in an effort to comply with the state’s Stop WOKE Act, legislation pushed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that limits instruction related to race and gender in schools. The Florida Department of Education later said the publisher was wrong to remove mention of Parks’s race.