The Florida House Education and Employment Committee passed a bill on Thursday that would ban teaching about sexual orientation and gender ideology in the state’s elementary classrooms.
HB 1557, the “Parental Rights in Education Bill,” proposes that, “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
The bill also allows for a parent to pursue “injunctive relief” against a school district for violation of the bill.
Florida House Republicans took to Twitter to thank those who have led the bill.
“It is not the job of school administrators, teachers or counselors to replace the role of a parent. HB 1557 protects every parent’s right to a role in their child’s education, health and well-being,” they wrote.
It is not the job of school administrators, teachers or counselors to replace the role of a parent. HB 1557 protects every parent's right to a role in their child's education, health and well-being. Thank you, Representatives @josephbharding & @ChrisLatvala for your leadership. pic.twitter.com/Ow3PtjU8oP
— FL House Republicans (@FLGOPMajority) January 21, 2022
“When parents are excluded from decisions affecting their child’s health and well-being at school, it sends the message to children that their parents’ input and authority are no longer important,” Florida parent January Littlejohn shared in the video.
“This created a huge wedge between our daughter and us because it sent the message that she needed to be protected from us, not by us,” she added.
The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Joe Harding.
The video also noted school administrators will be required to notify parents if there are any changes to a student’s “mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being.”
Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, blasted the proposal in a Twitter post last week.
“This will kill kids, @RonDeSantisFL. You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in. In a national survey (@TrevorProject), 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year. Now they can’t talk to their teachers?” he claimed.
This will kill kids, @RonDeSantisFL. You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in. In a national survey (@TrevorProject), 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year. Now they can't talk to their teachers? https://t.co/VtfFLPlsn3
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chasten) January 20, 2022
The bill also garnered national attention when on MSNBC “a Democratic lawmaker touted his credentials as a former teacher before saying the state’s ‘children are more smarter’ than DeSantis believes. The statement was one of numerous grammatical and factual errors made by Florida State Senator Shevrin Jones (D) on ‘The ReidOut with Joy Reid’ Thursday night as he condemned DeSantis’ efforts to have the state’s public schools focus on the basics, like math and English.”
The Daily Wire previously reported:
“Let’s be extremely clear about something: As a former teacher, I want to make it clear that these children are more smarter [sic] than we think they are,” Jones said, as Reid nodded.
Jones claimed that DeSantis “is not dealing with the things that is [sic] more important, the kitchen table issues,” like “the up in rent that has taken place in South Florida,” apparently referring to rent increases. “But yet, and still, we’re dealing with the Critical Race Theory and The 1619 Project, an issue that is a non-issue.” Jones did not discuss his own history as the primary sponsor of legislation to remove all Confederate statues and erase the name of all Confederate soldiers from public property statewide.
Reid, who has dedicated numerous segments over the past week to the Florida governor, invited Jones to critique DeSantis for removing CRT from the state’s curriculum and supporting a bill that would stop teachers from discussing sexually explicit material in the classroom.