Florida's Parental Rights in Education lawwhich some have nicknamed the "Don't Say Gay" lawwent into effect July 1, and some of the state's public school districts have begun rolling out new policies to limit LGBTQ issues and identities from being discussed in the classroom, NBC News noted.
On June 28, the Leon County School Board unanimously approved its "LGBTQ Inclusive School Guide," which includes a provision to alert parents if a student who is "open about their gender identity" is in their child's physical education class or with them on an overnight school trip.
Teachers in Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) say that they're being told not to display pictures of their same-sex spouses, not to wear rainbows, and to remove safe-space stickers from their classroom doors in order to avoid violating Florida's broadly written "Don't Say Gay" law, according to LGBTQ Nation.
These suggestions were made by OCPS attorneys to administrators in closed-door seminars earlier this summer. The seminars covered "what behaviors would and would not be legal under the law," representatives of the county's teacher association told WFTV. Officially known as the Parental Rights in Education Bill, the "Don't Say Gay" law says teachers cannot "encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students."
The so-called Don't Say Gay law, HB 1557, bans "instruction" about sexual orientation or gender identity "in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards."
Legislators who support the measurewhich Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in Marchclaimed it will apply only to children in kindergarten through third grade and that it is about giving parents more jurisdiction over their young children's education, NBC News noted. However, critics and legal experts have said the law's broad language could open school districts and teachers to lawsuits from parents who believe any conversation about LGBTQ+ people or issues is "not age-appropriate."