Gov. Ron DeSantis officially signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law on Monday. The bill, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill prevents the teaching of an overly sexualized curriculum in schools for grades kindergarten through third grade.
The bill, which has been the source of a nationwide conversation, grandstanding, and misinformation, easily passed through the Florida legislature, clearing the House 69 to 47 and the Senate by a margin of 22 to 17.
“The bill takes three main steps: first, the bill prohibits classrooms instruction about sexuality or things like transgender in kindergarten through third grade classrooms, and after third grade, those curriculums need to be age-appropriate. Second, the bill ensures that at the beginning of every school year, parents will be notified about healthcare services offered at the school, with the right to decline any service offered. And finally, this bill ensures that whenever a questionnaire or health screening is given to our young students, parents receive it first and give permission to the school to give it to their child,” said DeSantis
Florida Republicans expressed frustration over the widespread depiction of the bill across various media platforms. The nickname “Don’t Say Gay,” lawmakers claim, instills the notion that the measure extends far beyond its actual reach.
“There’s been a lot of discussions about this particular piece of legislation. There’s been a lot of sloganeering and fake narratives by leftist politicians, by activists, and by corporate media. Now it’s true, many of the people who whip this up have not read the bill. They’d rather spend their time furthering narratives,” said DeSantis. “In the state of Florida, parents have a fundamental role in the education, healthcare, and wellbeing of their children. We will not move from that. I don’t care what corporate media outlets say, I don’t care what Hollywood says, I don’t care what big corporations say. Here I stay. I’m not backing down.”
Opponents of the bill were quick to condemn its signing, including Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book.
“Today, Governor DeSantis signed yet another piece of divisive and particularly cruel legislation, in HB1157,” said Book. “Dismissive and uninformed Republicans claim the reason for national outrage is because we haven’t read the bill. We read it. So did medical professionals, educators, community leaders, and parents. It is an attack on Florida’s LGBTQ+ community and our teachers. Perhaps the Senate Republican bill sponsor didn’t read it, or understand it, because he couldn’t even define simple terms in the bill, including “sexual orientation.” Crafted in ignorance and fear-mongering, this legislation has little to do with student safety and everything to do with culture wars fabricated by Republicans.”
This is a developing story.