Florida Board of Education considers controversial proposal on sexual orientation instruction

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my touch — The state board of education on Wednesday will evaluate a proposal that largely bans the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools, except in cases such as when the instruction is part of health lessons.

The proposed rule comes after the legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis last year approved a controversial law banning instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. The law also called for such higher education to be “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate” according to state standards.

The proposed rule states that teachers “cannot knowingly provide classroom instruction to students in grades 4-12 about sexual orientation or gender identity unless such instruction is expressly required by state academic standards…or is part of a reproductive health course or lesson The father of the student shall have the option not to attend his student.”

Meanwhile, two bills (HB 1069 and SB 1320) moving through the legislature seek to expand the scope of the 2022 law by extending bans on sexual orientation and gender identity to pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

The state Board of Education meets in the Capitol Building.