Massachusetts Sues Florida Over Parental Rights in Education Law
You've probably heard of the Parental Rights in Education Law that recently took effect in Florida. You've also probably heard the law, signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" law.
However you've heard the law referred, it does not prevent anyone from using the word "gay." The law 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."
The law also requires "such procedures to reinforce the fundamental rights of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children in a specified manner." In addition, the law prohibits "school department personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student's mental, emotional, or physical well-being."
Nowhere in the law is the use of the word "gay" prohibited. You can read it for yourself.
The White House has issued a statement saying the legislation is "designed to attack LGBTQ+ kids." President Joe Biden called it a "hateful bill."
Governor DeSantis has criticized reporting on the law as a "false narrative."
"We're going to make sure that parents are able to send their kids to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into their school curriculum," he said.
Massachusetts has joined 15 other states in filing a multi-state amicus brief challenging the law. Attorney General Maura Healey, the Democrat nominee for Governor of Massachusetts, called the Florida law "discriminatory" and "hate-fueled."
In joining the suit, Healey said the law "is the censorship of LGBTQ+ issues at a time when school communities should be creating an educational environment that is inclusive of everyone."