Florida Settles Parental Rights Law Dispute, Allows Discussion On Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity In Classrooms

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Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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An agreement in Florida will permit discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, so long as they are not a part of classroom instruction, New York Post reported.

Florida’s education authorities and civil rights attorneys reached an agreement Monday that allows discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, provided they are not included in the curriculum, according to the New York Post. This decision comes two years after a law, critically dubbed “Don’t Say Gay,” prohibited teaching these subjects in early grades. This led to confusion among educators about whether LGBTQ+ expressions were allowed in schools.

The settlement aims to clear the air by instructing the Florida Board of Education to notify all school districts that the law does not prevent discussions about LGBTQ+ issues, nor does it impede anti-bullying initiatives or the formation of Gay-Straight Alliance groups, the outlet stated. It emphasizes the law’s neutrality, stating that its provisions apply equally to discussions about heterosexual people and that it does not extend to library books not used in classroom instruction. (RELATED: DeSantis Makes It Easier For Jewish Students To Transfer Colleges Amid Rising Campus Tensions)

“What this settlement does, is, it re-establishes the fundamental principle, that I hope all Americans agree with, which is every kid in this country is entitled to an education at a public school where they feel safe, their dignity is respected and where their families and parents are welcomed,” Roberta Kaplan, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, stated, New York Post reported. “This shouldn’t be a controversial thing.”

Despite the original law’s controversy, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ office has praised the agreement as a victory. “Today’s mutually agreed settlement ensures that the law will remain in effect and it is expected that the case will be dismissed by the Court imminently,” the statement said, according to the New York Post.