President Joe Biden’s administration reacted to news that Florida had banned sexual orientation and gender identity conversations for little school children by promising Monday to fight for LGBTQ youth.
“Every student deserves to feel safe and welcome in the classroom,” the president said in a Monday afternoon tweet after Republican Florida Gov Ron DeSantis signed the state’s Parents Rights in Education bill. “Our LGBTQI+ youth deserve to be affirmed and accepted just as they are.”
“My Administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family — in Florida and around the country,” he added.
The White House did not respond to further requests for comment from The Daily Wire asking whether the president supports sexual orientation and gender identity conversations for children aged 5-9 (kindergarten through third grade).
A statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona indicates that the Biden administration “will be monitoring this law upon implementation to evaluate whether it violates federal civil rights law.”
“As always, any student who believes they are experiencing discrimination, including harassment, at school or any parent who is concerned that about their child experiencing discrimination can file a complaint with our Office for Civil Rights,” Cardona said.
Every student deserves to feel safe and welcome in the classroom. Our LGBTQI+ youth deserve to be affirmed and accepted just as they are. My Administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family — in Florida and around the country.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 28, 2022
“By signing this bill, Gov. DeSantis has chosen to target some of Florida’s most vulnerable students and families, all while under the guise of ‘parents’ rights,'” Cardona said. “Make no mistake: this is a part of a disturbing and dangerous trend across the country of legislation targeting LGBTQI+ students, educators, and individuals.”
Florida’s HB 1447 states 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.”
Students in kindergarten are typically five years old, while third graders generally are eight or nine years old.
The bill has been wildly misrepresented as “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, though nowhere in the legislation is the word “gay” mentioned.
The word “parent” is mentioned 32 times and the word “parental” is mentioned eight times, and the legislation heavily focuses on parental notification and parental awareness of what children are being taught or exposed to in school.
DeSantis said Monday that parents have a “fundamental” role in the education, upbringing, and healthcare of their children, insisting that he will never cave to pressure from outside groups like Disney.
While some critics of the Parents Rights in Education bill have not read the legislation, DeSantis said, “leftist politicians, corporate media outlets, some of these activist groups, they actually have read the bill.”
“And they are sloganeering because they don’t want to admit that they support a lot of the things we are providing protections against,” he said.
.@GovRonDeSantis: "politicians, corporate media outlets, activist groups" reframing Parents Rights in Education as Don't Say Gay "actually HAVE read the bill" and "don’t want to admit that they support a lot of the things that we are providing protections against." pic.twitter.com/v168J5AF8i
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) March 28, 2022
Leftist activists know that Americans overwhelmingly oppose indoctrinating children with sexual or gender ideology, DeSantis said, pointing to polling, like that done by outlets like The Daily Wire and Politico, that showed most Americans don’t want gender identity being taught in schools.
“Someone told me that there’s even people in Hollywood that are opposed to providing protections for parents and enforcing parents rights,” he added. “The one thing I’ll say about that: the people who held up degenerates like Harvey Weinstein as exemplars, if those are the types of people opposing us on parents rights, I wear that like a badge of honor.”