What is the Don’t Say, Gay Bill?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial “Parental Rights in Education” bill Monday, barring public school teachers in the state from having classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity.

Key Takeaways:

The Florida Senate on Tuesday passed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, dubbed by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, sending it to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. DeSantis, who has previously supported the measure. In March, the Governor signed it into legislation.

The measure would prevent “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” The bill does not define “age appropriate” or “developmentally appropriate.” However, Florida Rep. Joe Harding, co-sponsor of the bill, said it would apply to students in grades K-3.

The bill sets a deadline of June 30, 2023, for the state to develop updated standards to decide what “age-appropriate” instruction looks like.

It requires schools to notify parents of any healthcare services being offered to children and give them the opportunity for families to opt out of them.

It also requires schools to get the permission of a parent before administering any “well-being questionnaire or health screening” to a child in kindergarten through third grade.

In addition, it allows parents to sue in court if they believe a school violates the new law or request the Commissioner of Education to appoint a “special magistrate” to get to the bottom of a complaint. (School districts would pay for the magistrate.)

The news was met with immediate pushback from civil rights organizations and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who said in a statement that Florida leaders “are prioritizing hateful bills that hurt some of the students most in need.”

Choose your Reaction!