There are multiple forms of Anti – LGBTQ Legislation that has been affect LGBTQ+ individuals across America. Since the start of 2022, many acts of legislation were put into place against LGBTQ+ youth including the “Parental Rights in Education Bill,” also known to critics as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” that was recently passed in Florida.
According to the Florida House of Representatives website, the Parental Rights in Education Bill “Requires district school boards to adopt procedures that comport with certain provisions of law for notifying student’s parent of specified information [and] requires such procedures to reinforce fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding upbringing & control of their children” amongst other requirements.
This bill states, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
This makes it harder for there to be discussion in all grades regarding gender identity and sexuality. Though the bill directly specifies those in kindergarten through third grade, this section is not clear on what “age appropriate” is because what may be age appropriate to one parent may not be to another.
The bill goes on to say that schools should “adopt procedures for notifying a student’s parent 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.” and it further states that “at the beginning of the school year, each school district shall notify parents of each healthcare service offered at their student’s school and the option to withhold consent or decline any specific service.” In addition to this, the schools will be required to provide a health screening to parents prior to giving it to students for prior approval.
The argument those in support are making is that this bill is set to protect the rights pf parents, and their right to know what is happening with their children. Those who oppose say that the notification of parents will additionally add stress to students as it will make students less inclined to come forward regarding topics of not only sexuality and gender identity as it relates to mental health, but topics of Sexuality, Gender Identity and Mental Health as a whole.