BOUQUETS & BRICKBATS

Brickbats to Clay County Superintendent Charlie Van Zant Jr.

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Brickbats to Clay County Superintendent Charlie Van Zant Jr. for seemingly endorsing an “American exceptionalism” conference led by a Republican party official whose website focuses on education reform with a conservative bent. Van Zant authorized $2,037 to reserve a meeting room and amenities for “Dare to Think: A Conference on Restoring America’s Heritage” to be held Nov. 4-5 at Thrasher-Horne Conference Center in Orange Park. The conference is spearheaded by The Report Card, a magazine published by William Korach, first vice-chairman of the St. Johns County Republican Party, who wrote a text book described as “the history of the influence of Judeo-Christian thinking on America, Law and Ethics.” He also penned a paper, “Islam-Biased Content in Florida’s K-12 Textbooks,” described as a study “that corrects over 200 Islam biased, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic textual errors in 25 Florida K-12 textbooks.” Though Korach reimbursed the $2,037, four of the five School Board members objected to the perception of a political agenda the sponsorship could cause and the use of funds without consulting the board. After all the previous bad blood between Van Zant and the School Board, they should be working extra hard to communicate.

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