"Prostitutes, Junkies And Winos, Oh My!"
Last week, while her husband was launching an attack ad targeting a private citizen who dared to challenge him in a Starbucks for cutting women's health care, Florida's First Lady Ann Scott was reading inappropriate books to school children.
The First Lady is well known for gracing elementary schools and pre-schools with her presence for story time photo ops, but she's not known for making the best book selections.
Last summer, as a controversial bear hunt was about to get underway in Florida, she read a book called "We're Going On A Bear Hunt" to a group of small children in an early learning center.
On Friday she was back at it again, but this time it was the inappropriate language in the book that got the attention of everyone except for Ann Scott, apparently:
It was supposed to be a happy day at Bailey Elementary School.
[...But somewhere along the line, smiles turned into frowns.
The book she read to two fifth grade classes was A Land Remembered, a critically acclaimed novel about Florida pioneers by the late Patrick D. Smith. As you can see here, the opening pages include some language that might not be considered suitable for young ears. Words like "prostitute." And "son-of-a-b----." Someone alerted the media. It's not clear who complained, and district spokeswoman Tanya Arja said neither her office, nor the school, heard from any parents.
The school's principal was forced to issue this statement afterwards:
"This morning, Florida First Lady Ann Scott read to Mrs. Sabo's kindergarten class and Mrs. Vician and Mrs. Faria's 5th grade classes to celebrate our school as the state's literacy winner. Mrs. Scott read a book to a class of 5th graders titled A Land Remembered that had some words that were not age-appropriate. We did not pick the book and have addressed this with her staff.
"We wanted to make you aware since your child is our number one priority. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions."
Scott's office also issued an "apology" for reading from a book that was not age-appropriate, saying "As the mother and grandmother of two wonderful daughters and four grandsons, I would never want to cause any offense or concern for students or parents."
One could say that, if this were true, perhaps she might have taken a look-see at what she was about to read beforehand to a group of fifth graders, or perhaps self-censor as she read. The widely used novel has a censored version, but Scott read from the uncensored version that describes things like “massage parlours, porno movies, bars, adult book stores” and “teeming at night with prostitutes and junkies and winos and professional muggers.”
I won't go as far as the activist her husband targeted in his revenge ad did and call her names, but maybe she should just sit out story time from now on. Between her inconsiderate and tactless book choices and her husband's massive cuts to education, they've "helped" Florida's school children enough already.