DeSantis Signs Law Curbing Lessons On Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation In PreK-8 Classrooms

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a piece of legislation into law Wednesday curbing lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation in PreK-8 classrooms.

House Bill 1069, extends DeSantis’ “Parental Rights In Education Bill,” the original law deemed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics because it prohibits instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in K-3 classrooms. The bill, signed into law Wednesday, passed the state Senate in a 27-12 vote on May 3 and was approved by the state House in March, 77-35. (RELATED: DeSantis Signs Legislation Cracking Down On Teachers Unions)

“I think what we’ve seen in these libraries and in some of the books, there is clearly a concerted effort to try to do indoctrination in the middle school grades and so the legislature I think has looked at that evidence and widely said, ‘you know on those issues if a parent wants to engage in that with their kid at those ages, then that is up to them. But we should not be putting that in the curriculum in school,'” DeSantis said ahead of signing the bill. “So we are not doing that. We are going to be focusing on math, focusing on reading, focusing on science. We are focusing on the subjects that really, really matter for our kids.”

Under the law, educators are prohibited from telling and asking students about their “preferred pronouns.” School districts must create a process for parents to challenge books or curriculum they deem age inappropriate, the law states.

“This bill insults the professionalism of educators. It takes away freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom to be treated equally in our public schools,” Democratic state Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book told CBS News.

Before DeSantis signed the bill, the Florida Board of Education (DOE) approved a rule in April that barred certain lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation from 4-12 classrooms. Teachers are prohibited from giving lessons on gender identity or sexual orientation unless it “is either expressly required by state academic standards … or is part of a reproductive health course or health lesson,” under the state DOE rule.
“Crucially, this bill makes sure that Florida students and teachers will never be forced to declare pronouns in school or be forced to use pronouns based on biological sex,” DeSantis said ahead of signing the bill. “We never did this in all of human history until like two weeks ago, now they’re having third graders declare pronouns?”

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