Second challenge to Florida Parental Rights in Education law dismissed

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed the second challenge to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, saying that students and parents challenging the law did not show they had been harmed by it.

U.S. District Court Judge Wendy Berger, a Trump appointee, dismissed the challenge to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits teachers and other school personnel from introducing LGBT topics in a way that is not age or developmentally appropriate for students.

The law took effect in July.

Students, parents, and various interest groups claimed that the law prevented them from talking about their sexual orientation in the classroom at school and when they attend meetings at school.

No special treatment

Berger said that the law did not prohibit students from talking about LGBT issues in the classroom, but only said that educators could not present their views or teach about them as part of their curriculum unless it was age-appropriate.

Challengers of the law argued in part that a nonbinary middle school student may face more bullying because of the law.

Berger responded, “Indeed, middle school children bully and belittle their classmates for a whole host of reasons, all of which are unacceptable, and many of which have nothing to do with a classmate’s gender identity.”

Challengers will be allowed to amend their complaint by November 3 if they want to argue on different grounds.

Not the end

Staff attorney at Lambda Legal Kell Olson said in a statement that the ruling is “wrong on the law and disrespectful to LGBTQ+ families and students.” Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit in July with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Southern Legal Counsel.

“The court’s decision defies decades of precedent establishing schools’ constitutional obligations to protect student speech, and to protect students from targeted bullying and harassment based on who they are,” Olsen said.

One of the main problems with a lot of the LGBT lobby has been that these groups want special treatment and protected status that elevates them above other groups.

The Constitution does not entitle any group to special treatment or elevated status, so the laws of our country should not do so either.