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Faith and politics, settlement over parental rights law, Black student-athletes urged to avoid Florida and environmental news

Faith and Politics with NPR’s Sarah McCammon

With early voting in Florida’s primary underway, we explore the intersection of faith and politics. What is the appropriate role of faith when it comes to public office?

For this conversation, we welcomed NPR’s national political correspondent Sarah McCammon. She’s written a new book, The Exvangelicals: Loving, Living, and Leaving the White Evangelical Church.

Guest:

  • Sarah McCammon, national political correspondent for NPR and co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. 

Settlement reached over parental rights law

It was almost two years ago when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education Act.

The wide-ranging law, in part, prohibited instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade. It was expanded to all grades last year.

Two years and a lawsuit later, the state has clarified what the law does and does not regulate as part of a settlement agreement. Equality Florida and other LGBTQ+ advocates brought the lawsuit and we spoke with the attorneys who represented their case.

Guests:

  • Roberta “Robbie” Kaplan, lead attorney for the plaintiffs. 
  • John Quinn, lawyer for the plaintiffs.  

NAACP urges Black student-athletes to reconsider Florida colleges

The National Association of NAACP is urging Black student athletes to rethink attending public colleges and universities in Florida.

This week, the national civil rights organization issued a letter to the NCAA, a non-profit organization that regulates student athletics, advising members to “reconsider any potential decision to attend, and compete at a predominantly white institution in the state of Florida.”

The letter comes as public universities have closed their diversity, equity, and inclusion offices after a 2023 law that bans using state funds for DEI programs.

Guest:

  • Dr. Ashley L. White, NAACP's Education Fellow for Equity Access and Opportunity.

Environmental news 

Sick fish are turning up in waters at the lower end of the chain of islands. Some of them are dying, including 20 rare and endangered sawfish.

So far, scientists don't know what's poisoning the fish. WLRN’s environmental editor Jenny Staletovich went to find out for herself.

Invasive species can move quickly to take root and crowd out the native vegetation after a big storm. That’s been a concern for folks on Sanibel Island following Hurricane Ian, as WGCU’s senior environmental reporter Tom Bayles reports.

In more hopeful wildlife news, Florida’s bonneted bat has been granted over a million acres of critical habitat in 13 counties. For more, we turn to WUSF’s Jessica Meszaros.

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