Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signals Support for ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis voiced his support for a controversial state bill that would  ban the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in primary schools.

DeSantis, a Republican, said on Feb. 7 it was “entirely inappropriate” for teachers and school administrators to discuss gender identity with students.

“Schools need to be teaching kids to read, to write,” DeSantis told reporters in Miami.

“They need to teach them science, history. We need more civics and understanding of the U.S. Constitution, what makes our country unique, all those basic stuff,” DeSantis further said.

Although he stopped short of directly saying if he would sign the bill into law, it was the first time DeSantis publicly signaled his support for the bill since state Republican lawmakers proposed it last month.

Critics said that the bill could be detrimental to the mental health of LGBTQIA+ children and teachers in the state as it would prevent them from openly talking about themselves and their families.

The Parental Rights on Education bill, dubbed as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics, would also prohibit schools from adopting procedures that could lead to school district personnel to withhold information about a child’s mental, emotional, or physical health.

DeSantis said that goal of the bill is to create transparency for parents.

“The larger issue with all of this is parents must have a seat at the table when it comes to what’s going on in their schools,” DeSantis said.

The measure would enable parents to sue school districts if they suspect a violation.

A state Senate version of the bill passed Florida’s Senate Education Committee on Feb, 8, following DeSantis’ comments.

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