On Tuesday, the Florida Senate passed the Parental Rights in Education bill, a potential law that would ban teachers in kindergarten through third grade from providing instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation, require schools to notify parents if there has been any change in a student’s physical, emotional, or mental wellbeing, and would also provide legal recourse to parents to sue if they believe a school has violated any of those agreements. It would also teachers to withhold certain information from parents if there is a “reasonable” belief notifying them would result in abuse.
As The Daily Wire reported on Friday, critics of the proposal claim it would harm LGBTQ students by preventing discussion on LGBT sex and gender topics, making them feel unwelcome, and possibly creating an environment of harm at home.
Many have wrongly nicknamed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, leading many to believe it actually bans the word “gay” from public school.
As a result, on Monday, The Daily Wire reported that in a show of solidarity with voters who want elementary school educators to teach students about transgenderism and other progressive sex-related ideas without parental knowledge, Florida Democrats chanted “Gay! Gay! Gay!” throughout the state’s capitol building.
The video shared featured dozens of people and several Florida Democrats chanting “gay!” The video can be seen here:
We’ve got one thing to say to our GOP colleagues — GAY! pic.twitter.com/AiXzW0chUq
— Florida Senate Democrats (@FLSenateDems) March 7, 2022
But supporters say that those protesters are misguided.
“This bill says parents your right to raise your children does not end when they walk into a classroom. This bill recognizes that parents are not the enemy,” Republican Senator Danny Burgess told NBC News. “The bill simply says that there should be an age limit on certain discussions, it’s not a new concept, nor is it radical.”
Jon Schweppe, director of policy at the American Principles Project, also agreed that the Left is distorting both the intent and what is actually in the bill.
Schweppe told The Daily Wire that the legislation is “about respecting the rights of parents and protecting kids.”
“Parents shouldn’t have to fear sending their kids to public school in America, but they do because woke ideologues have become obsessed with teaching kids as young as five that they can change their gender,” Schweppe added.
“This bill doesn’t do anything the Left claims — kids can talk about their families, even if they’re LGBT. Classroom discussions can still take place about LGBT history,” Schweppe clarified. “But this bill tries to provide boundaries, prevent unwanted indoctrination, and give parents more control over the upbringing of their kids.”
DeSantis also pushed back on critics, and members of the media, for lying about the bill. On Monday The Daily Wire reported that DeSantis pushed back on reporter Evan Donovan, who asked if he supported the “Don’t Say Gay” bill:
“Does it say that that in the bill?” DeSantis asked, interrupting.
“I know that you support —” Donovan tried again.
“Does it say that in the bill?” DeSantis repeated the question.
“I’m asking —” Donovan protested, but DeSantis pushed back immediately.
“I’m asking you to tell me what’s in the bill, because you are pushing false narratives,” DeSantis continued. “It doesn’t matter what critics say.”
“It bans classroom instruction on sexual identity and gender orientation,” Donovan pressed.
“For who?” DeSantis asked. “For grades pre-k through three. So five year olds, six year olds, seven year olds — and the idea that you wouldn’t be honest about that and tell people what it actually says, it’s why people don’t trust people like you because you peddle false narratives.”
Florida political observers expect DeSantis to sign the legislation.