The fear and fury of these Florida parents

Caitlin Gibson in The Washington Post:

One afternoon a few weeks ago, Alicea Hotchkiss’s 14-year-old son, Eli, came home from his high school in Tampa with a question about something a classmate had said to him. He’d heard the student use the word “gay” as an insult, so Eli responded the way he always does when this happens. “Hey,” Eli said, “my dad’s gay.” But this time, Eli told his mom, the other kid offered a startling rebuke: You’re not allowed to say that at school.

In a nearby community in central Florida, Barbara Mellen attended a recent open house at her son’s elementary school and asked her child’s teacher to suggest a few titles or authors that might help her second-grader develop more interest in reading. The teacher looked anxious, she says, and told her he couldn’t recommend any books.

In the Facebook group Brittany Minor created five years ago for Black mothers like herself in Orlando, discussions among the 2,800 members have reached new depths of frustration and fatigue. These moms are watching what is happening in Florida, the shifting of the political and cultural environment around them, “and they are tired, they feel helpless, they feel hopeless,” Minor says. “The common thread is that people feel broken.”

More here.