The Don't Say Gay Law Explained for Teachers and Parents

What is 'Don't say gay' law?

'Don't Say Gay' is a moniker critics use to refer to the Florida's Parental Rights in Education Law (HB 1557). The 'Don't Say Gay' bill was signed into law last year by Florida governor Ron Desantis (republican). 
 
The law introduces a number of restrictions against LGBTQ students and seeks to prohibit teachers and school officials from discussing any topics related to LGBTQ issues with students.
 



Here is what the law says:

"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 White House also encouraged parents of LGBTQ students to file complaints with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. On its part, the Trevor Project criticises the law and said that it  "appear to undermine LGBTQ support in schools and include vague parental notification requirements, which could effectively require teachers to 'out' LGBTQ students to their legal guardians without their consent, regardless of whether they are supportive."

Florida governor Desantis downplayed these criticisms referring to it as mere 'sloganeering' and part of 'woke gender ideology'.

As an educator, I do stand with LGBTQ students, teachers, educators, and parents in Florida and everywhere. I am hoping that the law will be repealed at some point because it carries huge risks for a wide portion of students.

Even before the introduction of the law, suicide rates among LGBTQ students were already higher in comparison with their straight counterparts. According to Trevor Project, when LGBTQ teens are provided access to spaces that affirm their gender identity, rates of suicide attempts are decreased.

Teachers and parents should definitely resist any legislation that discriminates against students because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I believe that the trend of civic rights and personal freedoms is going downward in the States.

There are many precedents to the 'don't say gay' law. For instance, the Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act (Stop WOKE), prohibits the teaching of critical race theory. 
 
Also, an increasing number of books are being banned from school libraries because of a state law that mandates that any book or resource used in school should be 'age-appropriate', 'suited to student needs' and free of pornography.

Taken together, these laws are a harbinger of where we are heading to in the near future. Freedoms are being severely curtailed and censorships are enacted  under phoney pretexts of protecting children. 
 
 
 
More sources on 'Don't Say Gay' law for teachers and educators:
 
This post originally appeared in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning ( www.educatorstechnology.com ).
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