President Joe Biden referred to a new Florida bill that would ban the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in elementary schools as “hateful,” telling the LGBTQI+ community “I have your back.”
“I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community — especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill — to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are. I have your back, and my Administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve,” Biden posted to Twitter on Tuesday.
I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community — especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill — to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are. I have your back, and my Administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve. https://t.co/OcAIMeVpHL
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 8, 2022
In addition to Biden’s words, the White House Twitter account also spoke out against Florida’s proposed bill, calling it an attempt by conservatives to make growing up “harder for young people.”
“Today, conservative politicians in Florida advanced legislation designed to attack LGBTQI+ kids. Instead of making growing up harder for young people, @POTUS is focused on keeping schools open and supporting students’ mental health,” the post stated.
Today, conservative politicians in Florida advanced legislation designed to attack LGBTQI+ kids. Instead of making growing up harder for young people, @POTUS is focused on keeping schools open and supporting students' mental health.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 8, 2022
The tweet oddly claimed Biden has focused on “keeping schools open” despite the fact that Florida has been known as the state that has kept schools open during the pandemic while the Biden administration repeatedly fought against the efforts.
The legislation would hurt kids who need the most protection in school and are “already vulnerable to bullying and violence just for being themselves,” Kevin Munoz, White House assistant press secretary, said in a statement to CNN.
“But make no mistake — this is not an isolated action. Across the country, we’re seeing Republican leaders take actions to regulate what students can or cannot read, what they can or cannot learn, and most troubling, who they can or cannot be,” Munoz added. “This is politics at its worse, cynically treating our students as pawns in a game and not people who deserve love and respect. At every step of the way, Republicans have peddled in cheap, political attacks, instead of focusing on the issues parents, students, and teachers care about.”
The Florida House Education and Employment Committee passed a version of the bill in January that would ban teaching about sexual orientation and gender ideology in the state’s elementary classrooms.
HB 1557, the “Parental Rights in Education Bill,” proposes that, “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
The bill also allows for a parent to pursue “injunctive relief” against a school district for violation of the bill. A similar version in the state Senate passed on Tuesday.
“At the end of the day, you know, my goal is to educate kids on the subjects —math, reading, science — all the things that are so important,” Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday regarding the bill. “I don’t want the schools to kind of be a playground for ideological disputes or to try to inject.”
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