On Mar. 28, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1557, or the Parental Rights in Education Bill, into action.
The bill, commonly dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics, restricts teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools from kindergarten through third grade and potentially restricts similar education for youth in later grades. Aditionally, the bill allows school districts to reveal personal information about a student’s mental, emotional or physical health to the parents, including sexual orientation.
Opponents of the bill argue that it will isolate the LGBTQ+ community by prohibiting discussion about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, a population especially vulnerable to bullying and mental health struggles.
The bill has faced criticism on a national scale and was discussed on “Saturday Night Live” and during the Academy Awards ceremony.
“We will continue to recognize that in the state of Florida, parents have a fundamental role in the education, healthcare and well-being of their children,” DeSantis said during the bill-signing event. “We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination.”
The bill takes effect July 1. Any parent who believes their school’s actions violate the bill can sue for damages and attorneys fees.