The “Don’t Say Gay” bill was nicknamed the “Parental Rights in Education” measure by opponents and was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida.
The legislation, known as HB 1557, prohibits teachers from teaching pupils about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade in a way that does not meet “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate” standards for students.
Before he signed the law, DeSantis said, “We will make sure that parents can take their children to school to obtain an education, not an indoctrination.
The legislation mandates that the Florida Department of Education revise its educational standards to meet the new requirements.
Unless there is good reason to believe that disclosing the fact that a kid has used school health services would put him or her at risk of abuse, abandonment, or neglect, schools will be obligated to tell parents when their children have made use of these services.
If parents believe that any of these standards or limits have been violated, they have the right to take legal action against the school district.
The bill is set to go into force on July 1st of this year.
“I think the last couple of years have really highlighted to parents that they are increasingly forgotten in our country when it comes to the education of their children. We’ve seen sexuality and woke gender ideology taught to very young children in educational materials. \
At the signing, DeSantis stated, “We’ve seen libraries that have blatantly improper pornographic items for very young kids.
The bill has sparked a national debate and controversy.
Critics claim that the purpose of this restriction is to eliminate any mention of or debate of homosexuality in the classroom.
They claim that excluding LGBTQ students from schools will have a negative impact on their mental health and safety.
“Let us be clear: Should its imprecise language be interpreted in any way that causes harm to a single child, teacher or family, we will lead legal action against the State of Florida to fight this racist legislation,” local LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida stated in a statement.
According to the LGBTQ community’s critics, excluding the LGBTQ community from classroom lessons indicates that kids are ashamed of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
They stated that pupils are already aware of their gender identity and sexual orientation at a young age and that schools should be able to provide safe venues for these conversations.
Florida is in mourning today. DeSantis’ signing of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill sends a clear message to children in Florida that he doesn’t care about them or their families if he can use their pain to score political points with his base, says Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz.
“He’s taking the side of hatred, bullying, and discrimination,” Diaz said. We need leaders that will stand out for the interests of our state’s families and allow us to be proud of who we are.”
The administration denounced the legislation and met with LGBTQ youth and their families in the state.
Students and families who are particularly vulnerable have been singled out by legislation passed around the country, including Florida, and the state’s secretary of education, Miguel Cardona, said as much in a statement.
“My message to you is that this administration will not stand for bullying or discrimination of any type, and we will utilize our authorities to defend, support, and create opportunities for LGBTQI+ kids and all students,” he continued.
The bill’s backers argue that parents should have the final say in these kinds of discussions and decisions.
On the podcast “Start Here,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joe Harding, said, “What we’re preventing is a school system deciding they are going to construct a curriculum to insert themselves.”
He went on to say, “Families are families. Be a family, not just a group of people When youngsters are still learning to read and do basic math, the school district does not need to intervene.”
This bill is not designed to harm students,” said state Sen. Kelli Stargel of Florida. It is not the intent of this legislation to out youngsters as LGBT. For that purpose, this measure has been introduced.
A recent ABC News/Ipsos poll indicated that more than six in 10 Americans reject legislation that would restrict primary school students from learning about their sexual orientation or gender identity.