Ron DeSantis Slated to Sign Expansion of Parental Rights Law Extending to Eighth Grade

A teacher is doing math with his class (Pexels/Max Fischer).
Pexels/Max Fischer

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to sign an expansion of the Parental Rights in Education law, which would prohibit classroom discussions on gender identity and sexual orientation to children up to grade eight.

The current Parental Rights in Education law prohibits such discussions for children in kindergarten through third grade. But on Wednesday, the Florida legislature passed a measure, extending the law to apply to children up to eighth grade.

Republican Florida State Rep. Adam Anderson said the 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,” he added.

According to the legislation, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in pre-kindergarten through grade 8, except when required by ss. 1003.42(2)(n)3. and 1003.46.

“If such instruction is provided in grades 9 through 12, the instruction must be age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards,” the legislation adds.

It also addresses issues related to preferred pronouns, defining sex as an “immutable biological trait” and adding that it is “false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex.” That rule does not apply to individuals with what the bill describes as a genetically or biochemically verifiable disorder of sex development.

Ultimately, employees, contractors, and students are not required to use an individual’s “preferred pronouns” as a condition of employment or enrollment.

“An employee or contractor of a public K-12 educational institution may not provide to a student his or her preferred personal title or pronouns if such preferred personal title or pronouns do not correspond to his or her sex,” the legislation reads.

The passage of this legislation comes on the heels of Florida’s State Board of Education approving a rule expanding the Parental Rights in Education law, prohibiting inappropriate classroom discussions on gender identity and sexual orientation for up to grade 12. However, there are few exceptions, particularly for older students.

As Breitbart News reported:

It also states that educators “shall not intentionally provide classroom instruction to students in grades 4 through 12 on sexual orientation or gender identity unless such instruction is either expressly required by state academic standards as adopted in Rule 6A-1.09401, F.A.C., or is part of a reproductive health course or health lesson for which a student’s parent has the option to have his or her student not attend.”

In other words, there are limited exceptions for students in older grades.

Violation of the rule will “subject the individual to revocation or suspension of the individual educator’s certificate, or the other penalties as provided by law,” per the rule’s text.

Florida’s commissioner of Education, Manny Díaz Jr., has defended the rule, explaining that it provides “clarity for teachers on the instruction.”


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