Florida Banned Books 2022 List Memes Not True

VERIFY viewers ask if meme showing Florida’s list of banned books is real. It is not. However, school districts in Florida have the option to ban books.

Ahead of the August 23 Florida primary, several VERIFY viewers asked us to investigate a viral meme that claimed to show a list of banned books in the state.

The meme, which went viral on social media, claimed Florida banned popular classics including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”

“Florida’s Anti-Awakening Banned Book List. Some of that makes sense, considering Republicans should be afraid their voters might read ‘1984,’” the meme said.

Even actor Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, tweeted the meme. Hamill’s tweet alone has more than 147,000 likes.

Verified viewers Lisa and Larry both texted us asking if the list was real and if Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered the ban.


Is Florida’s list of banned books really what the viral meme claims?



No, the list of memes for banned books in Florida is not real. Florida does not have a banned book list, but local school districts do have the power to ban books.

what we found

VERIFY found posts for a specific book listing dating back to at least February 2022, but the older version of the meme did not contain text about its focus on Florida.

The governor’s press secretary Brian Griffin told VERIFY that DeSantis did not issue a statewide book ban in Florida.

“It seems to me that it’s just a completely fictitious list of people who might live in an alternate reality,” Griffin said.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second largest teachers union in the United States, removed a Tweets reveal viral memes with lists And said she should do her research.

“I should have double checked before I retweeted this list. My fault. Seems like some books aren’t banned. Banned books are very real and dangerous,” she tweeted.

Many of the books on the meme are on the American Library Association’s “Prohibited and Challenged Classics” list, which documents books that have historically been banned or attempted to be removed from U.S. libraries, schools and universities.

In fact, some of the listed books from the viral meme were featured in Florida’s Benchmarking of Outstanding Student Thinking (BEST) standards, Griffin told VERIFY.

The best standards were set after DeSantis signed a bill to eliminate the Common Core curriculum. According to the best standards, even if the common core curriculum is cut, the best standards set the “literacy standards” for our Florida students that will shape their education and ensure that they are leading the way in leading Florida to become the state with the highest literacy rate in the nation status.”

Some of the books on the so-called banned list are listed in the best standard. Some examples:

  • “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • “The Call of the Wild”
  • “1984”
  • “Between Humans and Mice”
  • “Lord of the Flies”

“There is no list of banned books at the state level. The state has guidelines on what’s in it, and local school districts are responsible for enforcing those guidelines,” Griffin said.

In March, DeSantis signed HB 1467 into law, requiring schools to be more transparent about their curriculum and giving parents the opportunity to have a say in the selection of library books and other instructional materials.

“Parents in Florida are looking to become more involved in many aspects of our education system, and this legislation illustrates that effort. The books our children read in school need to be properly vetted. Parents have the right and responsibility to be involved in this process, ” Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson said at the signing.

“Not all books are suitable for every grade level. This legislation ensures that we have a transparent and consistent process for engaging the public in reviewing school curricula and books and other materials used in school libraries,” Simpson said.

However, some school districts in Florida have decided to ban the use or study of books in their classrooms.

For example, school superintendents in Flagler County, Florida, banned “All Boys Are Not Blue,” written by LGBTQ+ activist George M. Johnson, because parents complained it was obscene. At least 10 books have been banned in Duval County, Florida, since 1978.

Are you curious about your state’s book ban? Education advocacy group Red, Wine & Blue has a map of school districts that ban books in classrooms.

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so you can see what’s true and what’s false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, SMS alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. learn more”

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