On Wednesday, the Florida Board of Education on Wednesday approved an expansion of the Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay,” which is going to be to extend the limits of teachings about sexual orientation and gender identity through K-12.
Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) proposed that the board consider a rule change that would mandate that discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity only be allowed in fourth through 12th grade if it is aligned with state curriculum or is part of a health class that students will have the right to opt-out for. This is going to be an extension of the already existing Parental Rights in Education bill which banned all discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity for students in kindergarten up to third grade.
Equality Florida, an LGBTQ rights group took to Twitter to criticize the expansion, claiming that this move was going to increase the censorship in the state which is going to “exacerbate our educator exodus,” and push many families out of Florida. They further noted that these practices were going to “further stigmatize and isolate a population of young people.”
The rule is going to take effect in one month after it goes through a procedural comment period. The approval from the state board marks another step in DeSantis’ fight against LGBTQ topics being allowed in classrooms.
When he signed the legislation into law, DeSantis pointed out that parents have the right to make choices about their children’s education and be informed about the services that the children at school are being offered. He added that schoolchildren should be protected against “schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old.”