Randi Weingarten admits sharing fake ‘banned books’ list: ‘My fault’

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Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), admitted to sharing a false tweet claiming Florida banned certain books on Sunday.

“I should have double-checked before I forwarded this list. My fault. It looks like some books aren’t banned. Banned books are very real and dangerous,” she said on Sunday. Weingarten attached a screenshot of her original tweet, which read: “We’ve taught books for generations!!!!!!”

The list, posted by an account called “Freesus Patriot,” claims Florida has banned books such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “A Wrinkle in Time.” The account also tweeted that they would not disclose the source of the list.

“I won’t say where this list came from due to protection of origin, but if this list is wrong then I invite @RonDeSantisFL to publicly state that the books on this list will not be banned in schools in Florida and he intends to protect students Right. If he does, I will delete it,” the account tweeted.

Social media users responded to Weingarten’s pushback and the original tweet, which has since been deleted.

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American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten meets with 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and members of the American Federation of Teachers at a town hall on May 13, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“This listing is fake, Randy. Note that there is no link to its source,” wrote Frank Lenz.

Weingarten responded to Luntz: “We thought it was checked. My mistake, I removed…”

Weingarten was re-elected to lead the AFT in July, making it her eighth term as AFT president.

Weingarten responded to another tweet, pointing out the list was “made up” and saying she should “check it carefully.”

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American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten holds a news conference with members of Congress, parents and care advocates in front of the U.S. Capitol to support better investments in home care, child care, paid leave and expanding CTC payments.  Washington, DC, October 21, 2021 (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MomsRising Together)

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten holds a news conference with members of Congress, parents and care advocates in front of the U.S. Capitol to support better investments in home care, child care, paid leave and expanding CTC payments. Washington, DC, October 21, 2021 (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MomsRising Together)
(Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MomsRising Togethe)

Weingarten also pointed out two “accurate” lists of banned books to her followers, with links to both.

“Good,” wrote The Telegraph’s investigative reporter Mairead Elordi.

Bryan Griffin, press secretary to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, responded to another tweet from Concerned Citizens, which said: “Florida bans Poole. Strategy Award-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Griffin said the claim was “completely false”.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, right, listens to Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, to the media after speaking with AFT members in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., May 6, 2019.REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, right, listens to Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, to the media after speaking with AFT members in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., May 6, 2019.REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
(Reuters/Rebecca Cook)

“The state of Florida did not ban To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, Florida recommended the book in eighth grade,” he wrote.

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A school board in Washington state did remove the book from its curriculum because of complaints that it was racially insensitive.

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