Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, effectively banning the discussion of LGBTQ topics and “sexual orientation or gender identity” in Florida’s public schools.
What he said: “In Florida, we not only know that parents have a right to be involved, we insist that parents have a right to be involved,” DeSantis said, per The Tampa Bay Times.
- “We’ve seen libraries that have clearly inappropriate pornographic materials for very young kids, and we’ve seen services that were given to students without the consent or even knowledge of their parents across the country, and unfortunately, that’s happened here in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said, per WESH-TV.
Details: The bill — HB1557 — originally restricted “classroom discussion” about gender identity and sexual orientation. But it has been changed to stop “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties,” according to The Tampa Bay Times.
- Schools cannot add policies that stop disclosure of “critical decisions” to parents “affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being,” per The Tampa Bay Times.
- However, schools could “withhold certain information if they believe the disclosure would result in abuse, neglect or abandonment,” The Tampa Bay Times reported.
What to know: The bill — which critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill — has made headlines in recent weeks due to widespread reaction throughout the country.
- Critics have said the bill might harm LGBTQ children for a number of reasons.
- Businesses — like Disney — have spoken out against the bill, too, as I reported for the Deseret News.