Florida parental rights bill upheld following settlement

 March 12, 2024

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' office declared victory this week after a law designed to shield children from sexual material in school was upheld. 

According to Fox News, a settlement was reached on Monday which clarifies language found in the Parental Rights in Education Act.

Settlement provides clarification on what topics can be addressed in school

Passed in 2022, the legislation banned classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity aimed at children between the ages of 5 to 8.

Supporters included then-Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who wrote in an op-ed, "As a mom, I’m sure that other parents agree: Schools should teach young kids about the A-B-Cs, not S-E-X."

The settlement stipulates that the Florida Board of Education will provide all school boards with instructions stating that the law does not prevent anti-bullying rules.

Nor does the law preclude the discussion of LGBTQ+ people or prevent students from forming Gay-Straight Alliance groups.

What's more, the settlement also makes clear that the law's provisions are applicable to heterosexual topics as well as those dealing with homosexuality.

Governor's office calls settlement "a major win" over left-wing activists

Fox News noted that the governor's office issued a statement which hailed the settlement as being a "major win against the activists who sought to stop Florida's efforts to keep racial, gender and sexual ideology out of the classrooms."

Ryan Newman serves as an attorney for the State of Florida, and he issued a statement as well, saying, "We fought hard to ensure this law couldn't be maligned in court, as it was in the public arena by the media and large corporate actors."

"We are victorious, and Florida’s classrooms will remain a safe place under the Parental Rights in Education Act," Newman went on to insist.

Florida law provided inspiration for similar bill in Alabama

Fox News reported in 2022 that Florida Parental Rights in Education Act served as inspiration for similar legislation in other states, including neighboring Alabama.

The network noted that Alabama Republican state Sen. Shay Shelnutt introduced an amendment governing public school restroom and locker room use to include new rules on classroom instruction.

"We don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about homosexuality and gender identity in schools, they should be learning about math," the conservative lawmaker was quoted as saying.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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