The Parental Rights in Education bill that forbids teachers from discussing certain sexual orientation topics with elementary school students on grounds that those topics are age-inappropriate was passed by the full Florida Senate on March 8 by a 22-17 vote.
Specifically, HB 1557 prohibits teachers of children in kindergarten through third grade from conducting classroom discussions about sexual orientation or identity and authorizes parents to sue school districts that they believe are in violation of the measure.
Activists in Florida’s LGBTQ community dubbed the measure the “Don’t Say Gay” bill because they say it will stigmatize LGBTQ young people and their families.
During a March 4 press conference in Jacksonville, DeSantis said that the “Don’t Say Gay” moniker attached to the legislation was a misnomer.
“How many parents want their kids to have transgenderism interjected into classroom instruction?” DeSantis asked, “These are very young kids and parents want to be reassured that this (kind of discussion) is not going to be there.”
HB 1557 was passed by the Florida House of Representatives on Feb. 24 by a 69 to 47 margin.
When signed into law, the measure becomes effective on July 1.