DeSantis officially signs parental rights legislation into law

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


Three weeks after the Parental Rights in Education Bill passed in the Florida senate, a week after some Disney employees walked out in protest, and one night after celebrities gathered at the Academy Awards chanted the word “gay,” Gov. Ron DeSantis enshrined House Bill 1557 in law.

The governor was joined in Spring Hill, Florida, by elected officials and parents for a press conference during which he announced he had signed the bill, which will forbid the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity through third grade, give parents the right to opt their children out of any medical service offered by a school, and require schools to ger parents’ permission before having students fill out health questionnaires.

“Parents’ rights have been increasingly under assault around the nation, but in Florida we stand up for the rights of parents and the fundamental role they play in the education of their children,” DeSantis said. “Parents have every right to be informed about services offered to their child at school, and should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old.”

To call DeSantis’ announcement unwelcome in the eyes of the left would be an understatement. President Joe Biden almost immediately tweeted a response in which he condemned the law.

“Every student deserves to feel safe and welcome in the classroom,” Biden wrote. “Our LGBTQI+ youth deserve to be affirmed and accepted just as they are. My Administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family — in Florida and around the country.”

Disney, which has faced backlash from its conservative employees for its ever-more-public forays into politics, vowed to assist in the fight to overturn the law.

“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that,” a statement from the company reads. “We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”

DeSantis seemed unconcerned with Disney’s threats, or the loud criticism emanating from Hollywood, where the trio of hosts of this year’s Academy Awards took turns teeing off on Republicans and Florida. At one point, hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall began chanting “gay” in response to the Parental Rights in Education Bill, which many on the left have labeled the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” despite DeSantis’ frequent retort that the word gay never appears in the bill.

“If the people who held up degenerates like Harvey Weinstein as exemplars and as heroes and as all that, if those are the types of people that are opposing us on parents’ rights, I wear that like a badge of honor,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis later added, “they support sexualizing kids in kindergarten. They support injecting woke gender ideology into second grade classrooms. … And so what they’re doing with these slogans and these narratives is they are trying to camouflage their true intentions.”

Beyond restricting schools’ ability to discuss gender identity with children and forcing schools to reveal medical and psychological information about children to their parents, the law also contains a mechanism through which parents can sue schools who refuse to enforce the law.

“You never know how you will feel or react to something until it affects you or your family or your children, personally,” Erin Lovely, a parent from Palm Beach County, said. “Under this bill, it protects the fundamental rights of parents to make choices regarding the upbringing of their children and it prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in a second-grade classroom.”

Schools that choose to address issues of sexuality and gender identity in grade 4 or higher will be required to do so at an age-appropriate level.