A Florida public school district announced that it has created a “Gender Support Plan” for students to fill out to notify their parents or guardians of their preferred pronouns. Fox News reported that the district issued the form to comply with Florida’s recently-passed parental rights law.
The Lee County School District, which covers western coast Florida cities like Fort Myers, said that the form was in direct response to the Parental Rights in Education law passed by the Republican-majority state legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The district’s lead public information official, Rob Spicker, said, “If a student does complete a gender support plan, which will by law require their parents’ involvement, it is a confidential document and available only to the school counselor and student.”
The form has to be filled out with a school counselor and includes questions similar to the following:
- Are the parents or guardians aware of their gender identity?
- Does the student have support at home?
- How public is their preferred name and pronoun?
- Which school employees are designated as support systems for the student?
- What will happen if the student is “outed”?
A parent or guardian must sign the form, or the school cannot refer to the student by the preferred name or pronoun.
Spicker defended the form rollout as a way to protect LGBTQIA+ students.
Critics falsely called the parental rights law the “Don’t Say Gay Law,” which term or phrase are not found in the law’s text. Yet polls indicated that parents, regardless of political affiliation, were in support of returning power to parents from the school bureaucracy.