Florida substitute teacher fired over video DeSantis called ‘fake narrative’

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A Florida substitute teacher has reportedly been fired for posting a video of empty bookshelves in a middle school library, a video that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called a “fake narrative” earlier this week.

Brian Covey, who was a substitute teacher at Mandarin Middle School in Duval County, posted a video on Jan. 27 that showed aisles of empty bookshelves in the school’s library. The day before, he had also tweeted, “They removed every single book from my children’s classrooms.”

DeSantis said at a press conference on Tuesday that the video Covey posted was a “fake narrative” and “was not true.”

Covey said that he was fired on Wednesday, nearly three weeks after he posted the initial video, according to First Coast News.

In a statement first provided to First Coast News, Duval County Public Schools confirmed that Covey was fired in connection to his social media posts.

“In discussion between the district and ESS regarding this individual’s misrepresentation of the books available to students in the school’s library and the disruption this misrepresentation has caused, it was determined that he had violated social media and cell phone policies of his employer. Therefore, ESS determined these policy violations made it necessary to part ways with this individual,” the statement read.

ESS is an organization that contracts substitute teachers to the Duval County Public Schools, according to the website.

DeSantis recently signed a bill into law that required public school books in Florida to be age appropriate for students, free of pornographic material and “suited” to the needs of the students, which has prompted school officials to review books in their libraries.

The Hill has reached out to DeSantis’s office and Duval County Public Schools for comment.

Covey posted a video responding to DeSantis’s “fake narrative” comments last week, showing multiple empty book shelves and saying the county had only reviewed a small fraction of book titles.

Duval County Public Schools responded to Covey’s posts, saying that the video Covey posted showed “less than half the story” in a tweet. “Yes, those shelves were empty. But they were in a room full of books,” it added.

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