The Florida Board of Education on Wednesday approved a rule banning discussion of LGBTQ issues in students’ classrooms through the 12th grade, a move that puts “a target on the background of LGBTQ Floridians,” advocates said.
proposal or offer, Governor Ron DeSantis brought it up last monthCritics criticized it as another “bigoted” rule that shows the Republican governor’s aggressive stance on social issues, as he appears to appeal to conservative voters ahead of a potential run for the White House.
The rule is expected to go into effect in the coming weeks after a procedural notice period of about a month, according to a DOE spokesperson.
Florida currently prohibits discussions of LGBTQ issues in classrooms through the third grade. Last year, DeSantis signed into law the state’s so-called “Don’t Call Gay” bill, which bans discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation among young children.
The law, which marks a victory for conservatives in the state, has sparked a massive increase in anti-LGBTQ vitriol on social media, as well as in-person protests against LGBTQ youth events in the state.
Earlier this year, research from the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, a think tank focused on LGBTQ law and policy, found that nearly six in 10 LGBTQ parents said the law had prompted them to consider moving to the state. different – while 17% have already taken steps to do so.
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The rule change now prohibits classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity from grades 4-12.
This policy will “escalate the government oversight sweeping our state, exacerbate the exodus of our teachers, drive hard-working families out of Florida, and further stigmatize and alienate a group of young people who need our support now more than ever,” the largest LGBT rights group in state, Florida Equality said in a statement at noon Wednesday. “The desire for government oversight is insatiable.”
Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., a DeSantis appointee, downplayed the rule, previously criticized by White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre as “completely wrong” and “part of a disturbing and dangerous trend we’re seeing across the country of targeting LGBT people.” “.
“He was Do not remove anything hereDiaz Jr. said on Wednesday. “All we do is we set expectations so that our teachers are clear: they must teach to standards.”
The Florida Board of Education’s approval comes just hours before the state assembly is set to vote on three different bills targeting transgender youth in the state.
Republicans in the state are expected to pass Legislation that criminalizes gender-affirmation sponsorship for minors, bans transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, and bans youth from drag shows.
With News Wire services