Florida lawmaker proposes expansion of Parental Rights in Education law

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Florida State Rep. Adam Anderson (R) on Tuesday introduced legislation to expand Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law that went into effect last March.

Under the existing law, public schools are barred from providing classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity to students in kindergarten through the third grade. The new bill extends the prohibition to pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade and includes private schools in the state. It would also require schools that offer LGBTQ instruction to students in grades nine through 12 to post a notification on their websites to inform parents.

The measure would further prohibit schools from requiring employees, contractors, and students of a public K-12 school to refer to someone by their “preferred pronouns” if they do not match that of his or her biological sex. 

“It shall be the policy of every public K-12 educational institution that is provided or authorized by the Constitution and laws of Florida that a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex,” the legislation states. The bill would also protect students and school personnel who do not elect to use pronouns that don’t comport with a person’s biological gender from penalties or other retaliatory measures.

“This bill promotes parental rights, transparency, and state standards in Florida schools. It requires that lessons for Florida’s students are age-appropriate, focused on education, and free from sexualization and indoctrination,” Anderson told The Hill in a statement.

In its reporting on the proposed measure, The Hill stated that the bill “would prohibit employees and contractors in public K-12 schools from using a student’s name and pronouns if they do not correspond to what they were assigned at birth.” However, the actual language of the proposed measure reads: “…prohibiting employees, contractors, and students of such educational institutions from being required to use, from providing, and from being asked to provide certain titles and pronouns … [emphasis added].”

LGBT activist group Equality Florida Action, Inc. denounced the bill’s introduction in a statement, per The Daily Caller.

“This legislation is about a fake moral panic, cooked up by Governor [Ron] DeSantis to demonize LGBTQ people for his own political career,” public policy director for the group, Jon Harris Maurer, said. “Governor DeSantis and the lawmakers following him are hellbent on policing language, curriculum, and culture. Free states don’t ban books or people.”

The Parental Rights in Education law was intentionally misnomered by Democrats and LGBTQ activists as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, even though the word “gay” appears nowhere in the document’s seven pages. In addition to bans on progressive sexual and gender identity indoctrination in the classroom, the law prohibits schools from withholding information from parents about their child’s “mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being” and provides them with access to their child’s health records and education. 

Parents must also be notified of the health services offered at their school and be given the option to consent to or decline each service.

FISM previously reported that Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the purpose of the bill was to give parents the right to decide what should be taught to their children, particularly with regard to sensitive subject matter.