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Northwest Florida educators respond to DeSantis' comments about military veteran teachers

WEAR – Mobile-Pensacola logo WEAR – Mobile-Pensacola 8/4/2022 WEAR Staff
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ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. -- A comment about teachers from Governor Ron DeSantis is not sitting well with some educators in Northwest Florida.

On Wednesday, the governor answered criticism from the Sarasota Teachers Union, about his plan to use veterans without college degrees to fill open teaching positions.

The union said "you can't just throw any warm body into the classroom."

This was the governor's response:

"And you give me somebody that has four years of experience as a Devil Dog over somebody that has four years of experience at Shoehorn U, and I will take the Marine every day of the week and twice on Sunday," DeSantis said. "So, this is, this is offensive to hear and honestly I think it passed the legislature unanimously."

Escambia Education Association president Darzell Warren says she will not respond in kind.

"We have made a conscious decision to not get into the war of words with the governor, and not put focus on some of the things he wants to focus on instead of the real issue of what are we going to be about the 9,000 teacher shortage," Warren said.

 As a veteran herself with more than nine years in the Air Force, Warren says she does not object to qualified veterans stepping into the classroom. But she believes the governor should put his focus on why young people are not choosing careers in education.

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