The left-driven New York Times published a wildly critical article over the weekend about Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The title of the article was “Pranks, Parties, and Politics: Ron DeSantis’s Year as a Schoolteacher.”
The first part of the article described the governor’s first year as a popular and energetic teacher. He led five classes on history, coached both the football and baseball team, and was a dormitory supervisor. One teacher tabbed him as a “triple threat.”
DeSantis at 23 years old was a hard worker. That may the nicest thing the paper was willing to communicate.
The writer of the article is Frances Robles, the Florida correspondent for the New York Times.
A Twitter post that links to the NYT article has this claim: “A window into a little-known period in the life of Gov. Ron DeSantis — a time when he partied with high school students and insisted that the Civil War was not about slavery — by @FrancesRobles.”
But, even in Robles’s article, she writes that that description was not true. Two former students remember DeSantis attending a party, but it was not during the school year, it was after graduation.
The idea that DeSantis insisted that the Civil War was not about slavery is also a red herring. One student was quoted in the article as saying DeSantis took the “devil’s advocate” position in teaching. He used this method to challenge his classes with contrary opinions so that they learned how to defend their positions. That certainly is not “insisting on a position.” This is the Socratic method and it is a great way for history to be taught.
Halfway into the article, Robles quotes a woman named Danielle Pompey, “Mr. Ron, Mr. DeSantis, was mean to me and hostile toward me. Not aggressively, but passively, because I was Black,” Pompey said.
She is also the student DeSantis used the “devil’s advocate” approach with. It’s likely she did not understand this approach and may remember it as mean.
This claim is not backed up by any other student’s testimony.
Claims Against DeSantis Only Backed by One Student
It has also been made clear that the video that has DeSantis speaking in the classroom is fake news. A voice that is supposed to be DeSantis says, “The Civil War was not about slavery! It was about two competing economic systems. One was in the North. …” But that was a student pretending to be DeSantis, the whole video is a 20-year-old parody and it was made by 16 and 17-year-olds.
It is just hard to believe that the New York Times wrote this and they thought that it would be a hit job on the popular Florida governor. The article did just the opposite and it blew up in their face at The Times.
The best “eyewitness” Robles could find was a disgruntled woman who thought DeSantis was mean to her and there was no corroborating evidence of any kind. And shame, shame, shame…a 23-year-old DeSantis attended some parties after graduation that also had students at it. Wow.
The Times called DeSantis to get his comment on the article. He declined. That is just the way to handle such a hack job.
Robles tried to scrap up some real dirt on DeSantis and wrote a piece that just seemed to increase the man’s street cred. He was a cool teacher.
The who concept for the article got some others interested in the early career of DeSantis.
One media source reached out to Lee Graddy who graduated in 2004 and was on the baseball team that DeSantis coached.
“He kept to himself, but when you connected with him, he opened up and had a lot to give,” Graddy said. “He helped a lot of us out there on the field, especially when some of us were distracted by being young adults.” He also said, “I know a few of us weren’t the greatest; with his guidance, we became good baseball players and better people.”
Take that governor.