“Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Gabrielle Rose, Sandscript Author

Governor of Florida and Ron DeSantis (R.) decided to further the Parental Rights in Education Bill, but is now known to be the Don’t Say Gay Bill. This part of the legislative branch looks to disqualify schools teaching subjects about the LGBTQ+ community. This could also put them in more danger than before, as hate for the community will rise.

 The bill must be looked through by two more Senate committees, before it can become a law. If the legislators pass the bill, it would pass on Jul 1, 2022. The bill’s purpose was to reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children. These decisions include things like what the parents want, and don’t want being taught to their child. Under the new bill, parents would be allowed to prohibit their student from learning about sexual orientation, or gender indentity from kindergarten to third grade. In grade levels above that, bill supporters argue that these topics are not age, or developmentally appropriate. 

On Thursday, February 24, Florida’s House of Representatives approved the bill on a 69-47 vote. The bill is now being moved to the Senate, where it is already being debated. The bill is creating continuous arguments that it’s merely trying to seek more strength and rights to students’ parents. 

Students at St. Johns County organized a demonstration against this bill, by holding up pride flags outside their school. The demonstration was held at Bartram High School, Nease High School, and St. Augustine High School. Schools around the world have also been organizing their own demonstrations to locals to insure their voices were being heard. 

“As Pride Club sponsors, we feel strongly that no students should feel excluded or ashamed of who they are. Florida HB 1557 has discriminatory language that could isolate students from their peers and create an unsafe environment for entire school communities. The bill’s language is also vague and ambiguous, which leaves its provisions open to interpretation and thus at risk of being applied in unfair ways according to bias rather than law” says Chesterton High School teachers, Mrs. Henderlong and Mrs. Sharp.

We will keep everyone posted about upcoming conflicts with this topic.