SPRING HILL, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill Monday.
The governor was at an event at a Spring Hill school, where he signed the bill into law.
What You Need To Know
- Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Bill Monday
- Opponents of the bill have dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill
- READ HB 1557: Parental Rights in Education
The bill has garnered national attention and pushback from some in Florida. Opponents of the bill have dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The bill was described as banning the word “gay” from public schools, even though the bill only calls for a ban on discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in the K-3 grade levels or “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
Major polls showed a majority of Republicans were in favor of the bill. Polls also showed 52 percent of Democrats support it.
Audra Christian, 47, who has a 16-year-old daughter, said she's happy parents now have control over the classroom again.
"I think it's phenomenal that parents actually have recourse now to address curriculm in the schools and what their children are being taught in schools. I think it's great and then also you have term limits for school board members," she said.
Parents can take their concerns to the State Board of Education who will appoint a magistrate to look into the matter at the school's expense.
Since its inception, the measure has drawn intense opposition from LGBTQ advocates, students, national Democrats, the White House and the entertainment industry.
The legislature is likely to continue to get pushback from a vocal minority, now that it's become law, arguing it is an attack on the LGBTQ community.
Representative Anna Eskamani's responded to the signing of the bill,"I want to be clear that identifying as LGBTQ+ and caring about LGBTQ+ kids is not a "leftist agenda" nor is it inappropriate for educators to acknowledge the fact that LGBTQ+ people are real and exist. The intent of this bill is to erase queer students and eliminate any programming that helps them feel safe and supported. We heard from the Senate bill sponsor himself that he thinks children identify as LGBTQ+ because they want to be famous, and we heard comments from another Senator that "gay is not permanent." This is what fueled the passage of this bill, and instead of solving problems like the rising cost of rent in Florida, our Governor has continued to pursue a red meat agenda, attacking a group of people he clearly doesn't think should even exist."
Republicans have argued that it would not stop teachers from engaging in spontaneous discussions, but is meant to prevent districts from integrating lessons on sexual orientation or gender identity into the curriculum.
Democrats have said the language of the bill, particularly the phrases “classroom instruction” and “age appropriate,” could be interpreted as broad enough to apply to any grade and could open districts to lawsuits from parents who believe any conversation to be inappropriate.