Florida Aims to End Sexualization of Children

The stories are jaw-dropping, infuriating, and plentiful. The school district in St. Paul, Minnesota is partnering with an organization that offers LGBTQ-affirming curricula for students as young as 3 years old. In Idaho, an 11-year-old girl was coached by her Coeur d’Alene school into a sex change without notifying her parents. As reported by Abigail Shrier, the California Teachers Association held a conference in October 2021, where it advised teachers

on best practices for subverting parents, conservative communities, and school principals on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation. Speakers went so far as to tout their surveillance of students’ Google searches, internet activity, and hallway conversations in order to target sixth graders for personal invitations to LGBTQ clubs, while actively concealing these clubs’ membership rolls from participants’ parents.

Sadly, the above is just a drop in the perverse bucket. Stories abound nationwide of teachers and school administrators doing things to students that would be unheard of just a few years ago.

In response, Florida is fighting back. HB 1557, which awaits Governor Ron DeSantis’ signature, lays out parameters for teachers. It stipulates, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” The bill mandates that schools inform parents “of each healthcare service offered at their student’s school and the option to withhold consent or decline any specific service” and ensures that parents have full access to all their children’s health and education records.

In brief, the measure would establish “the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.” (Worth noting is a fact sheet produced by the Heritage Foundation explains that the bill “does not prohibit organic conversations between students and teachers, nor does it prohibit age-appropriate discussion of social issues including sexual orientation if it is in accordance with state standards.”)

In other words, schools would no longer be allowed to groom impressionable children in the sexual trend du jour behind parents’ backs. It is simply amazing that we even need a law like this. Back in the day, it would have been unnecessary, as schools were not indoctrination/grooming mills. But sadly, those days are gone.

The measure has been dubbed by detractors, including the mainstream media, as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The Associated Press, NPR, ABC, NBC, and others have labeled it as such. The fact that the word “gay” or “homosexual” never appears in the text doesn’t much matter to any of the gender-crazed social engineers. What the same crowd also doesn’t tell you is that the word “parent” or “parental” gets 39 mentions. The projected law only mentions the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” twice.

The misnaming is all part of the groomer’s game plan. As American Enterprise Institute researcher Max Eden notes, those who refer to it as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill have the same mentality as those who screeched “Book banning!” when parents in Texas recently tried to remove certain X-rated books—including one in which a fourth-grade boy indulges in oral sex—from school libraries. The banning mantra then was picked up in many places, including an NBC News headline that read, “Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries.”

Needless to say, there has been much unhinged outrage in response HB 1557. Harrumpher-in-chief Joe Biden calls the measure “hateful.” Chasten Buttigieg, husband of former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, tweeted that the law “will kill kids.” Disney workers in California and Florida have walked out to protest what they considered to be the company’s tepid response to the Florida bill. The outcry wasn’t quelled even after CEO Bob Chapek posted an apology for not doing more and promised to combat similar legislation in other states. He also paused all political donations in Florida, telling shareholders at a March 9 meeting “that Disney had always opposed the bill, but chose not to take a public position on it because we thought we could be more effective working behind the scenes, engaging directly with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.” Additionally, on March 18, two ESPN announcers sat in silence for two minutes during an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game to protest the bill.

One aspect of the proposed law that could cause problems is the lack of clarity in some of the wording, specifically that “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” The “age-appropriate” phrase is too vague. And since parents could conceivably sue districts for breaking the law, the hope is that DeSantis will clarify the wording before signing the bill. If HB 1557 does become law, it would take effect on July 1.

The proposed law has mostly polled quite well. A Daily Wire survey, which presented respondents with the actual language from the Florida bill’s most criticized passage—the ban on sexual orientation and gender identity classroom instruction in grades K-3 or any level if not presented in a developmentally appropriate manner—finds that 64 percent of Americans are in support, while 21 percent said they oppose the bill.

HB 1557 quite simply spares children the groomers’ obsession with gender, which is in fact biologically determined. If a child suffers from gender dysphoria, parents would be wise to seek out a therapist, not leave the matter to a government employee with a radical political agenda.

In Florida, 33 percent of eighth-graders are proficient in reading and 20 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 15 are illiterate. As such, maybe it’s time that the schools start focusing on what they have been traditionally mandated to do, and give up their warped social engineering game plan.

Editor’s note: A version of this article appeared originally at FrontPageMag.

About Larry Sand

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network—a nonpartisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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