Orange County school board reluctantly approves book ban policies, with hands tied by the state

As Florida school districts continue to crack down on books deemed too controversial for public school libraries and classrooms (mostly the ones with LGBTQ+ characters), members of the Orange County School Board last week reluctantly agreed to revised policies that are meant to help keep the district in compliance with state law on school library materials. School board member Karen Castor-Dentel, representing District 6, was the only board member to vote against the new policies, arguing the policies contain gaps that “favor those who wish to ban books.” Orange County is home to Orlando, and both city and county are Democratic strongholds where rainbow LGBTQ flags are hung with, well, actual pride, and drag performers are celebrated members of the local community, despite intimidation tactics from the state.