Republican Florida Rep. Adam Anderson Puts Forth Legislation To Expand Parental Rights In Education

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Republican Florida Rep. Adam Anderson put forth legislation Tuesday to extend current provisions in the “Parental Rights in Education” bill up to students in eighth grade.

As currently written, HB 1223 would prohibit “classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity from occurring in prekindergarten through grade 8, rather than kindergarten through grade 3.”

The bill places significant focus on pronoun usage. It releases school employees and contractors from any obligation to refer to students by any pronouns other than the ones consistent with their birth sex.

Additionally, the legislation bans schools from punishing students and employees that refuse to provide “preferred personal title[s] or pronouns,” or refer to others with pronouns inconsistent with their birth sex.

Students, faculty and contractors “may not be required, as a condition of employment or enrollment or participation in any program, to refer to another person using that person’s preferred personal title or pronouns if such personal title or pronouns do not correspond to that person’s sex,” according to HB 1223.

Employees and contractors are in turn prohibited from providing their “preferred pronouns” to students, the bill states.

Private pre-K providers in Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program, along with public schools, are not allowed to “provide instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity,” according to the bill. (RELATED: Maher Praises DeSantis, Says ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’ Should Be Called ‘Let’s Do Things … Way We Did 5 Years Ago’ Bill)

Schools are prohibited from withholding information about a student’s “mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being” under the legislation, and the institutions must enact policies to notify parents if such changes occur in a student. Parents must be allowed access to their child’s health records and education, as stipulated by the bill.

Parents must also be notified of the health services offered at their school and be given the option to consent to or decline each service, according to HB 1223. If a parent consents to a service, they would still have the right to access all of the information relating to their student’s healthcare.

LGBT activist group Equality Florida Action, Inc. denounced the bill’s introduction in a statement.

“This legislation is about a fake moral panic, cooked up by Governor DeSantis to demonize LGBTQ people for his own political career,” public policy director for the group, Jon Harris Maurer, said. “Governor DeSantis and the lawmakers following him are hellbent on policing language, curriculum, and culture.  Free states don’t ban books or people.”