Monday 26 September 2016

Florida First Lady Ann Scott read to kids about 'junkies and porno movies'

Ann Scott apologised for language that was 'not age appropriate' after she read a controversial book extract to 10-year-olds

Elsa Vulliamy

Published 09/04/2016 | 16:20

First Lady Ann Scott often visits schools to promote literacy Nathan Edwards/FLGov
First Lady Ann Scott often visits schools to promote literacy Nathan Edwards/FLGov

Florida’s First Lady has issued an apology after she read a passage from a book about prostitutes, “porno movies” and drug addicts to a group of primary school children in Miami.

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Ann Scott, wife of Florida Governor Rick Scott, visited a class of 10-year-olds at Bailey Elementary School in Hillsborough County on Thursday and read from Patrick D Smith’s historical novel A Land Remembered, the Miami New Times reports.

The novel, which tells the tale of three generations of pioneer Floridians, is widely studied in Florida schools, but pupils receive a heavily edited version.

Ms Scott did not read to the fifth graders from the censored version, but rather read a passage at the start of the uncensored original where two characters drive down Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard, which Smith describes to be “jammed” with “massage parlours, porno movies, bars, adult book stores” and “teeming at night with prostitutes and junkies and winos and professional muggers”. 

The passage was also littered with reference to violence. One character describes how Florida was “born of violence” and says “you can’t go anywhere without stepping on the skull of some man or animal that was killed”.

After complaints were issued about the content of the extract, Ms Scott wrote a letter to the school's principal, apologising for the incident.

“I am writing to sincerely apologise for any language that was not age-appropriate from the Florida classic, A Land Remembered, by Patrick D. Smith earlier today. As the grandmother of two wonderful daughter and four grandsons,” the First Lady wrote, “I would never want to cause any offense or concern for students or parents.

“I love having the opportunity to visit schools and share my passion for reading with Florida Students. I was grateful for the invitation to come and celebrate your school’s progress in excellence in the area of promoting literacy.”

(© Independent News Service)

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