Florida governor Ron DeSantis signs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill into law

The controversial ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill was signed into law on Monday (Pictures: AP/Getty Images)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the controversial ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill into law on Monday, which will effectively bar school teachers in Florida from having classroom discussions about sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill, which opponents have dubbed ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ was signed by the Republican governor on Monday. It reads, ‘A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels.’

Supporters of the bill say its purpose is to allow parents to determine when and how to introduce LGBTQ+ topics to their children. It also gives parents an option to sue a school district if the policy is violated.

‘We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination,’ DeSantis said before signing the bill.

Protestors gather in opposition of the 'Don't Say Gay' bill passed in Florida

Protestors gather in opposition of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill passed in Florida (Picture: Getty Images)

Critics of the legislation say that the bill is aimed at eradicating LGBTQ+ content and discussion within classrooms. Those in opposition believe it will harm LGBTQ+ youth by stripping representation and inclusion in school, and would put the mental health and safety of many of students at risk.

The legislation states that the Florida Department of Education would have to update its standards in accordance with the new requirements.

The bill will allow parents to decline any mental, emotional and physical health services available to their children at school, and schools will then be required to notify parents of their child’s use of school health services unless there is reason to believe ‘that disclosure would subject the student to abuse, abandonment or neglect.’

‘I think the last couple years have really revealed to parents that they are being ignored increasingly across our country when it comes to their kids education. We have seen curriculum embedded for very, very young children, classroom materials about sexuality and woke gender ideology. We’ve seen libraries that have clearly inappropriate pornographic materials for very young kids,’ DeSantis claimed at the signing.

The bill is expected to go into effect July 1.

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