An openly gay Parish, Florida, teacher said Tuesday on MSNBC that he’s concerned he can’t talk about his love life with kindergarteners anymore after the state enacted a law prohibiting teachers from discussing sexuality with young students.
“You know, it’s two-fold, it really hits hard in my heart professionally and personally. Professionally it truly makes me feel like I am not trusted as a professional. I know my kindergarten standards through and through and nowhere in our curriculum does it have anything about teaching sexual orientation or sexual identity,” Cory Bernaert said.
“So for them to say that that’s happening that, you know, it is kind of crazy, but we should be able to have discussions and that’s what we’re encouraged to do in kindergarten. Personally, because my kids do have questions, they want to know who my partner is and pictures outside the classroom and I should be able to speak to them.”
“Do you worry you can’t talk about your own personal home life? I know my child has two teachers, one of which has a daughter at home and is single. The other is married and has four children. I know everything about their lives because my kid tells me,” the host asked.
“Absolutely, you are 100% correct,” Bernaert said. “That’s what we do as educators, we build relationships with our kids. In order to build relationships, you talk about your home life, what you do on the weekends that’s building community. It scares me that I am not going to be able to have these conversations with my children because they’re going to ask about what I did on the weekend, I don’t want to have to hide that my partner and I went paddleboarding this weekend. They will ask ‘what does partner mean?’ Can I tell them what it means?”
“I am afraid for myself, my colleagues and my students,” he added. (‘They Don’t Say A Word’: DeSantis Slams Disney’s Opposition To Florida Bill)
Bernaert then added he would stay true to himself and be honest with his students, even if they want to discuss his personal life.
The new parental rights bill prevents teachers from discussing sexuality and gender identity with children in kindergarten through third grade and requires schools to allow parents to opt out of certain health services offered in schools. Teachers may still discuss sexuality and gender identity with students as young as fourth grade.
Nowhere in the legislation does it say “don’t say gay” despite insistence from left-leaning corporate media outlets and liberal pundits.