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Florida's Don't Say Gay Bill

Written By:

Kenzie Shelstad

Publishing Date:

March 26, 2022

February 2022, Florida Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, approved a bill that

endangers the LGBTQ+ community. This bill, labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, prohibits the education of sexuality and gender identities in kindergarten through third grade, and any grade where the topic is labeled “inappropriate” for that age group in schools. Formally, the bill is titled “Parental Rights in Education''. This restriction severely limits inclusion for LGBTQ+ students, especially ones that may be uncertain about where they fit on the spectrum. This bill prevents diversity in classrooms, explicitly prohibiting books, or word problems, that involve LGBTQ+ language. Not educating students will not change who they are, but it will rip away a safe environment for them to learn, and feel comfortable, about their identity. The bill also allows schools, and particularly, teachers, to be sued by parents for educating their children about the LGBTQ+ community, inciting fear. The argument that advocates of this bill put forward is that they believe it is the parents’ right to educate their kids on these subjects. However, this bill will not only prohibit teachers from teaching about the LGBTQ+ community–even if a majority of parents support doing so – but it will also discriminate against students within the community. The White House has denounced the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, rallying

behind the LGBTQ+ community and threatening to suspend federal funding of Florida public schools due to violation of the Title IX through discrimination. The LGBTQ+ community is additionally receiving support from across the country as thousands of students and adults alike protest the discriminatory bill.

Sources

Carlisle, Madeleine. “Florida Passed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill. Here’s What it Means for Kids”, the Time. 7 March 2022. Accessed 17 March 2022. https://time.com/6155905/florida- dont-say-gay-passed/

“‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill: Florida senate passes law marginalizing LGBTQ+ people”, The Guardian. 8 March 2022. Accessed 17 March 2022. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/08/dont-say-gay-bill-florida-senate-lgbtq

Woodward, Alex. “What is Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill?”, The Independent. 17 March 2022. Accessed 17 March 2022. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us- politics/dont-say-gay-bill-florida-b2038214.html