DeSantis Campaign Hits Back at White House for Lying About Parental Rights in Education Bill

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.
John Raoux/AP

The DeSantis campaign on Friday hit back against the White House for lying about Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which went into effect July 1, contending that President Biden is continuing to “steal lunch money from our kids to push woke gender ideology.”

Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill went into effect on Friday. The law, which prohibits classroom discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity for children in kindergarten through third grade, has been falsely labeled “Don’t Say Gay” by critics, who have failed to win the narrative battle, as most Americans say they approve of similar anti-groomer measures in their own states.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement on Friday, contending that “Florida’s most vulnerable students and families are more fearful and less free,” using the false name of the bill as well:

As the state’s shameful “Don’t Say Gay” law takes effect, state officials who claim to champion liberty are limiting the freedom of their fellow Americans simply to be themselves. Already, there have been reports that “Safe Space” stickers are being taken down from classrooms. Teachers are being instructed not to wear rainbow clothing. LGBTQI+ teachers are being told to take down family photos of their husbands and wives—cherished family photos like the ones on my own desk.

“This is not an issue of ‘parents’ rights,'” she said, belittling the concept of parental rights. “This is discrimination, plain and simple. It’s part of a disturbing and dangerous nationwide trend of right-wing politicians cynically targeting LGBTQI+ students, educators, and individuals to score political points.”

She continued:

It encourages bullying and threatens students’ mental health, physical safety, and well-being. It censors dedicated teachers and educators who want to do the right thing and support their students. And it must stop.

President Biden has been very clear that every student deserves to feel safe and welcome in the classroom. The Department of Education will be monitoring this law, and any student or parent who believes they are experiencing discrimination is encouraged to file a complaint with the Department’s Office for Civil Rights. Our Administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family—in Florida and around the country.

“The White House continues to lie about Florida’s work to protect children as young as five-years-old from sexualized lesson plans,”  Lindsey Curnutte, DeSantis for Governor campaign spokesperson, said in a statement in response to the White House.

“Governor DeSantis’s pro-parent education agenda stands in stark contrast to the policies coming out of Washington as Joe Biden tries to steal lunch money from our kids to push woke gender ideology,” she continued.

 “As a father of three young children, Governor DeSantis is committed to putting students first and protecting parents’ rights, and no false White House statement will change that,” Curnutte added.

DeSantis has also consistently hit back against the dishonest critics of the pro-parent measure.

“These leftist politicians, corporate media outlets, some of these activist groups, they actually have read the bill, and they’re sloganeering because they don’t want to admit that they support a lot of the things we’re providing protections against,” DeSantis said in March.

“For example, they support sexualizing kids in kindergarten,” he added. “They support injecting woke gender ideology into second grade classrooms. They support enabling schools to ‘transition students’ to a ‘different gender’ without the knowledge of the parent, much less with the parent’s consent.”

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