DeSantis signs Parental Rights in Education bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed the Parental Rights in Education bill (HB 1557) into law on March 28, 2022. The bill prohibits public school curriculum on gender identity or sexual orientation for kindergarten through third-grade students and prohibits lessons on these topics for older students if they are not “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

DeSantis said in support of the bill, “Parents’ rights have been increasingly under assault around the nation, but in Florida we stand up for the rights of parents and the fundamental role they play in the education of their children.” He added that “[parents] should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old.”

Opponents of the bill, including Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D), argued that, in their view, “DeSantis is attempting to censor and exclude an entire community of people from our public schools for his political gain.” Smith continued, “The bill’s intentionally vague language leaves teachers afraid to talk to their student and opens up school districts to costly and frivolous litigation from those seeking to exclude LGBTQ people from any grade level,” according to Politico.  

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