Florida’s First Lady Apologizes For Reading Story About Miami Prostitutes, Porn To 5th Graders

Florida’s First Lady, Ann Scott, suffered an embarrassing mixup last week when she read a passage from a book to fifth-graders that described Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard in the ’60s, filled with descriptions of prostitutes, porno theaters, and drug addicts, reports MiamiNewTimes.

Reading from the opening pages of the critically acclaimed novel A Land Remembered, Scott read passages that included words like “prostitute” and “son-of-a-bitch.”

MNT adds:

It’s widely taught in schools across the state. But apparently Scott and her staff didn’t know that students usually read a two-volume edition specially edited for young people. She read from the original version meant for adults.

The adult version begins at the end of the family’s tale in 1968, when one of the last of the MacIveys has his Rolls-Royce driver take him through Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, and Miami.

The two characters discuss Miami history, including a quick telling of the story of Julia Tuttle, the mother of Miami, as they drive off the causeway that bears her name.

“I’ll bet ole Julia Tuttle would throw a tissy fit if she could see what this causeway leads to now,” one of the characters quips. “She’d probably want her name off of it.”

But the conversation is also peppered with words like “bastard,” “damnit,” and “son-of-a-bitch.”

And then, there is this gem of a passage:

They turned left again at the mainland, cruising down Biscayne Boulevard, its northern section jammed with more motels and junk food shops, service stations, massage parlors, porno movies, bars, adult book stores, the sidewalks empty in the early morning sun but teeming at night with prostitutes and junkies and winos and professional muggers. Then they came into the downtown business section of Miami, passing the MacIvey State Bank Building with the letters MCI across the front entrance, then Bayfront Park with more winos and junkies and panhandlers and muggers.

Scott’s office issued this letter of apology to the school:

I am writing to sincerely apologize for any language that was not age-appropriate from the Florida classic, A Land Remembered, by Patrick D. Smith earlier today. As the mother and grandmother of two wonderful daughters and four grandsons, I would never want to cause offense or concern for students or parents.

I love having the opportunity to visit schools and share my passion for reading with Florida students.

The school’s principal Russel Wallace issued the following statement to the parents:

“This morning, Florida First Lady Ann Scott read to Mrs. Sabo’s kindergarten class and Mrs. Vician and Mrs. Faria’s 5th grade classes to celebrate our school as the state’s literacy winner. Mrs. Scott read a book to a class of 5th graders titled A Land Remembered that had some words that were not age-appropriate. We did not pick the book and have addressed this with her staff.

We wanted to make you aware since your child is our number one priority. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.”

“We appreciate her taking the time out and picking Bailey out of all the other schools,” Wallace told the Tampa Bay Times.