Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is moving to restrict classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades, expanding the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law that has drawn widespread criticism from LGBTQ advocates. DeSantis and other Republicans have argued that the measure is reasonable and that parents, not teachers, should be the ones to discuss subjects of sexual orientation and gender identity with their children. However, critics of the law say that its language – “classroom instruction,” “age appropriate” and “developmentally appropriate” – is overly broad and subject to interpretation. This has caused teachers to opt to avoid the subjects entirely for fear of being sued. As a result, the law has led to a feud between the state and many of the states employers, including Disney, one of the state’s largest employers and political donors. Additionally, the proposed rule change would also ban lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity from grades 4 to 12, unless required by existing state standards or as part of reproductive health instruction that students can choose not to take. The initial law that DeSantis championed last spring bans those lessons in kindergarten through the third grade. The restrictions on classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity have been met with widespread criticism from LGBTQ advocates and civil rights groups, who say the law marginalizes LGBTQ people and their presence in society. Furthermore, opponents of the law have argued that it infringes on educators’ ability to teach their students about diversity and inclusivity. Governor DeSantis’ proposal is set to be voted on next month before the state Board of Education, and it is unclear if the measure will pass. Nevertheless, it is clear that the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law is a major part of DeSantis’ conservative agenda and a key aspect of his potential presidential run.
The “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits the discussion of homosexuality and gender identity in K-3 public schools, is a violation of free expression and could have serious repercussions if expanded to 12th grade. This law prevents teachers from openly discussing issues related to sexual orientation, leaving students without critical resources and knowledge about LGBTQ+ issues. This can lead to an increase in discrimination and marginalisation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the classroom.
Furthermore, the expansion of the law to 12th grade could hinder sexual education in the classroom, which is already inadequate in many areas. By preventing teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ topics, students may be left without important information regarding consent, safer sex practices, and other topics related to sexual health. While this is specifically targetting homosexuality it could possibly effect sexual education in general in a bad way. This could lead to an increase in the rate of unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and other health-related issues, especially among students who lack access to comprehensive sexual education outside of school. The “Don’t Say Gay” law is a violation of free expression and should not be expanded to 12th grade. This law denies students access to essential information about sexuality and marginalises the LGBTQ+ community in the classroom. It is an outdated and oppressive policy that should be repealed entirly in order to ensure that all students have access to comprehensive sexual education.
Might we add that the original author of the bill is known to have fraudulently obtained COVID money?
Fortune wrote about it well.