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A Picture Book About Betty White Was Just Banned By A Florida School—And Fans Are Furious

The book 'That's Betty!: The Story of Betty White' has been deemed 'content and age inappropriate' for featuring a character with two dads.

Betty White
D Dipasupil/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The Florida Freedom to Read Project—a collective of Florida citizens who've taken a stand against book bans in the state—announced a picture book about the late actor Betty White had been banned from one district for featuring a character with two dads.

The book was challenged in the Escambia County Public Schools district for being "content and age inappropriate" as outlined in Florida's Parental Rights in Education plan—or "Don't Say Gay" law—which limits the instruction of gender identity and sexuality in public schools.

The organization noted that the individual who proposed the ban—Florida teacher Vicki Baggett—took issue with two pages in the book "where a character references his two dads."

Baggett claimed the book has an "agenda" that constitutes a "violation of parental rights, introduction of alternate lifestyles and characters."

The news would undoubtedly have infuriated the late White, who was best known for her work on the classic television sitcoms Mary Tyler Moore and The Golden Girls.

White—who died in 2021—was a well-known LGBTQ+ rights activist who once famously observed that anti-LGBTQ+ people should learn how to mind their own business, "take care of [their] affairs, and [not] worry about other people so much."

The news prompted many to condemn the district's and Baggett's action as homophobic.

Baggett has previously made headlines for backing book bans in her state.

Earlier this year, her calls to ban nearly 150 books on the grounds it is her "responsibility to protect minors" received pushback from former students who say she has a history of making openly bigoted comments and exhibiting equally problematic behavior.

Former students also said Baggett regularly expressed homophobic beliefs in class and that at one point she told a student whose sister had a girlfriend that she was "faking being a lesbian for attention."

Baggett made homophobia one of the cornerstones of her crusade to ban books with LGBTQ+ themes, notably And Tango Makes Three, which tells the story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who create a family together.

Baggett believes the book uses penguins to "promote the LGBTQ agenda" and said she opposes including And Tango Makes Three in school libraries because second graders might read the book and determine "these are two people of the same sex that love each other."