Politics

Florida Gov. DeSantis defends controversial ‘Parental Rights in Education Bill’

Known to critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which is actually called the Parental Rights in Education Bill, the piece of legislation is headed to the Florida state Senate floor.

GOP governor of the state Ron DeSantis gave his opinion on the legislation and heavily criticized the way it is being portrayed in the media during a Friday press conference in Jacksonville. 

DeSantis noted that the bill is about “no sexual instruction” given to young students. “When you actually look at the bill and it says ‘no sexual instruction to kids pre-K through three,’ how many parents want their kids to have transgenderism or something injected into classroom instruction?” he asked.

“It’s basically saying for our younger students, do you really want them being taught about sex? And this is any sexual stuff. But I think clearly right now, we see a focus on transgenderism, telling kids they may be able to pick genders and all of that.” 

The bill was written to put a limit on how LGBTQ themes are discussed in public school classrooms by restricting conversations, which are considered “instruction,” especially related to the lowest grades of elementary school.

The bill also allows parents to sue school districts if they are not notified of situations related to their children or if their students are encouraged to have discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity.

So far, Florida’s House has passed the bill, and it is now set to appear before the Senate for a vote on Monday. Across the nation, there are 18 similar bills heading through nine state legislatures.

LGBT groups, including the Trevor Project, have opposed the bills, saying its research shows that LGBTQ students who learned about LGBTQ topics or people at school had 23 percent lower odds of reporting attempting suicide in the last year.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: VANITY FAIR

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