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How Florida schools match LGBTQ policies with Ron DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

How Florida schools match LGBTQ policies with Ron DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Officials said Wednesday that nearly a dozen Florida schools are scrapping policies that violate Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new guidelines for LGBTQ issues in the classroom.

In November, Board of Education Senior Chancellor Jacob Oliva sent letters to ten districts, warning them that their policies did not comply with the Parental Rights Bill.

How Florida schools match LGBTQ policies with Ron DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis presents the controversial “Parental Rights in Education” bill.

Among other things, the “Don’t Say Gay” law requires schools to notify parents if their children change genders or use different bathrooms or locker rooms.

This provision ran counter to policy in districts where revealing gender identity changes to parents required student approval.

Oliva stated at a Board of Education meeting on Wednesday that several districts have already scrapped current guidelines in order to comply with the bill passed in March.

Parents have the right to know if there is a “change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student,” according to Oliva’s letter to Leon County officials.

How Florida schools match LGBTQ policies with Ron DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
Demonstrators in Tallahassee, Florida gather to protest the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The rules apply to a “student’s privacy, name and pronoun usage, and restroom and locker room usage,” according to Oliva.

All 10 districts that got letters — Alachua, Broward, Brevard, Duval, Hillsborough, Indian River, Leon, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine — pledged to address Oliva’s concerns.

To comply with the law, two of them, Alachua and Brevard, recently mandated that children use bathrooms based on their biological sex.

Oliva also reminded districts that the legislation allows parents to sue districts for breaking the law.

The Parental Bill of Rights set off a firestorm earlier this year, drawing particular scrutiny for banning subject matter related to sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade.

Jacob Oliva is Florida’s Board of Education Senior Chancellor.

DeSantis strongly supported the law, arguing that parents have a right to an unmistakable view of school policy — and that sexualized content is inappropriate for younger children.

However, critics argue that the law incites hostility toward the LGBTQ community and targets students of various sexual orientations and identities.

On Wednesday, Oliva said his department will follow up with the 10 districts to ensure they comply with the BOE’s directives.

source:summarybio.com