The Florida legislature passed expansions to the controversial “Parental Rights in Education” law during this year’s legislative session, which upset the Democrats and LGBTQIA+ activist community.
The bill passed in the Florida Senate along party lines in a 27-12 vote. The bill passed in the House of Representatives last month. It now awaits Gov. Ron DeSantis’s signature, as it is not expected that he would veto the bill.
Among its requirements, the bill said that the state policy of every public school that “a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex.” Here are other provisions of the bill:
- Increasing “school district transparency and accountability for selecting and using instructional materials and library materials by requiring that district school boards be responsible for the contents of classroom libraries, in addition to instructional materials and school libraries”
- Creates an objection form for parents if parents object to instructional material, by way of the Florida Department of Education
- Adds the requirement that “all books in elementary school classroom libraries” be included in a required online catalog (or database) of library materials
- School districts have to implement a process where parents can “limit their child’s access to library materials”be included in the required online catalogue of elementary school library materials and school districts must adopt and implement a process for parents to limit their child’s access to library materials
- Revises an annual reporting requirement, when it comes to objections to education materials
- Defines “sex” for education purposes
- Limits sexual education classes to students between sixth grade and twelfth grade
- Includes instruction on the “binary, stable, and unchanging nature of biological sex.”
Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book, a Democrat, claimed that the bill’s passage would marginalize children and insults teachers. The bill’s Republican sponsor, Clay Yarborough, said that the state “want teachers to stay on topic and leave to parents the decision to instruct on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
News4Jax reported the news.
Florida is one of the testing grounds for the conservative Right to counter the Left’s focus on gender identity in public education, which spurred the liberal mainstream media to spread misinformation about the bill’s intentions by calling it “Don’t Say Gay.” It is also a similar policy platform of Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who campaigned on restoring parental rights in education.