The “Don’t Say Gay” bill requires Florida schools to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive policies

The “Don’t Say Gay” bill requires Florida schools to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive policies

Wednesday, officials announced that almost a dozen Florida schools had discarded policies that violate the governor’s new guidelines for LGBTQ issues in the classroom.

Senior Chancellor of the Board of Education Jacob Oliva warned ten districts in November that their policies did not comply with the Parental Rights Act.

The so-called “Don’t Say Gay” rule mandates, among other requirements, that schools notify parents if their children change genders or transfer the bathrooms or locker facilities they use.

This rule contradicts the norm of districts that required student consent before disclosing gender identity changes to parents.

Oliva stated at a Board of Education hearing on Wednesday that numerous districts have already discarded their current rules to conform to the March legislation.

Oliva wrote in a letter to Leon County officials that parents have the right to be informed of any “change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe, supportive learning environment for the student.”

Oliva noted that the regulations pertain to “student privacy, name and pronoun usage, as well as restroom and locker room usage.”

In Tallahassee, Florida, protesters rally against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

All ten districts that received letters, including Alachua, Broward, Brevard, Duval, Hillsborough, Indian River, Leon, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, committed to addressing Oliva’s concerns.

Two of these counties, Alachua and Brevard, have recently required that children use toilets based on their biological sex in accordance with the law.

Oliva also reminded districts that the law permits parents to sue them for lawbreaking.

The Parental Bill of Rights sparked an uproar earlier this year due to its prohibition of sexual orientation and gender identity-related topics in kindergarten through third grade.

DeSantis firmly supported the rule, stating that parents have a right to a clear picture of school policies and that sexualized content is improper for younger children.

Critics dispute that the rule targeted students with different sexual orientations and identities and incited animosity towards the LGBTQ population

Oliva stated on Wednesday that his agency will follow up with the 10 districts to ensure compliance with BOE regulations.

 

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