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Florida Adds New “Don’t Say Gay” Rules

By Charlotte Robinson, January 19, 2023

Adding to the Florida State Board of Education horrendous & dangerous “Don’t Say LGBTQ” law they have voted to adopt 2 new vague rules. These rules threaten to remove the professional licenses of teachers who fail to notify families if the services a student receives change or if they require additional monitoring of their wellbeing. Though the simple knowledge of a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity doesn’t constitute a change in services or require additional monitoring, a student’s LGBTQ identity doesn’t automatically raise concerns about their mental, emotional or physical health or well-being. In that way these rules do not compel teachers to take any new action when a student discloses information about their identity. Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida Public Policy Director stated, “It's clear that the DeSantis Administration continues to weaponize state agency rules with one goal in mind: sow fear & uncertainty around how best to care for and respect LGBTQ Floridians. In this case, the State Board of Education’s rules are designed to create confusion about how best to address the needs of LGBTQ youth. However, these rules do not require teachers to out students against their will & do not compel educators to be less inclusive or welcoming of all students. Florida school districts have followed comparable policies for years that have allowed LGBTQ youth to continue building relationships & sharing information about their identity with those they trust. LGBTQ students, like all students, deserve to be protected from harm & treated with respect. Education professionals are tasked with continuing to provide safe, affirming environments for all young people in their care.” These new rules continue a series of politically motivated anti-LGBTQ attacks from the DeSantis Administration & Florida state agencies. 

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