The administration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is taking steps the expand the recently-passed parental rights law, derogatorily referred to by critics as the “don’t say gay” law.
As reported by Axios, DeSantis’ proposal would expand the scope of the Parental Rights in Education Act (PRE) without legislative approval. The amendment in question, proposed by Florida’s Education Department, would expand the original law’s ban on the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in pre-kindergarten through third grade, and would instead ban such topics from all grades in Florida’s public schools.
For 4th grade through 12th grade, instruction on these topics will be forbidden unless “expressly required” by state academic standards, or a lesson on reproductive health. In the latter case, parents have the option to opt their child out of such lessons.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to a question about the new proposal out of Florida, calling it “completely, utterly wrong.” She further and falsely described it as “part of a disturbing and dangerous trend that we’re seeing across the country of legislations that are anti LGBTQI+.”
In response, DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin tweeted that “there is no reason for instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity to be part of K-12 public education. Full stop.”
The proposal will be voted on by Florida’s Board of Education next month.
The effort marks the latest example of Florida implementing state rules, legislation, and other means of cracking down on the teaching of sexual degeneracy in public schools, which has become one of DeSantis’ key issues as governor. Another bill that has been introduced in the state legislature would ban public schools from forcing students and teachers to use “preferred pronouns” for those who believe they are of a different gender than the one with which they were born.