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What’s Actually In Florida’s So-Called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill?

Last week, Florida passed House Bill 1557, AKA the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. You heard that right. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his Republican counterparts in the State House have officially made it illegal for teachers and students to say the word “gay” in public schools. Soon, Florida’s prisons will be flooded not just with infamous “Florida men,” but also with anyone dares to utter the word “gay.” 

Or at least, that’s the story the mainstream media — and the Biden administration — is telling. 

But what the media fails to mention is that the bill leaves out one very important word: Gay. It doesn’t say a single thing about the word “gay,” and it hardly threatens anyone who uses that word. Despite the Left’s breathless proclamations about the supposed horrors of HB 1557, the truth is far simpler.

In reality, the bill is “an act relating to parental rights in education.” While many on the Left think parents shouldn’t have much of a say in what’s being taught in their kids’ classrooms, Republicans in Florida feel otherwise. 

In response to the woke gender ideology that’s flooding America’s public schools, they’re siding with parents who are rightly concerned about the agenda being pushed on kids as young as 5 years old. Thanks to remote learning bringing the classroom to parent’s living rooms, we now know, and many teachers freely admit, that starting in preschool, many kids are having explicit sexual lesson plans full of leftist ideologies pushed on them.

Put simply, this bill wants to temper the ability of any K-3 teacher, woke or not, to push sexual content on kids, regardless of which side they fall on when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity issues.

If you actually read the bill, which most media outlets and social media influencers clearly didn’t, it says “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.” So, if you think 5 year olds really need to take time away from learning to read so they can hear about transgenderism and the endless number of gender identities they can choose from, this bill is sure to upset you. Because it won’t allow that. 

The parental rights bill will instead reinforce the “fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children,” an archaic concept to many these days. The bill also prohibits schools from impeding “a parent from accessing certain records” regarding the schools curriculum and their child’s health, and will prevent schools from encouraging a student to withhold information from their parents regarding their gender identity or other sensitive topics. 

In other words, teachers will no longer be allowed to tell 8 year olds to keep secrets from their parents about their sexual orientation or mental health. 

And it will require schools to notify parents “if there is a change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the students mental, emotional, or physical well-being.”

Critics of the bill say schools should be withholding certain information from parents because it could keep the student safe if their parents are violent. And the bill addresses that, saying it “does not prohibit a school district from adopting procedures that permit school personnel to withhold such information from a parent if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect.”

It bears repeating that despite the media parroting the leftist created term “Don’t Say Gay,” to describe the bill, nowhere in the legislation is that word even used. Though the word “parent” is used 32 times. 

The legislation zeroes in on parental notification and parental awareness of what children are being taught or exposed to in school. It serves as a rebuttal against the progressive worldview, which says that children are more the property of the state than human beings cared for by their own parents.

One would think that spelling out a parent’s rights, and not teaching five-year-old children about sex would be simple enough ideas to get behind. Florida’s lawmakers thought so, at least. The state’s Senate approved the bill 22 to 17, and the House approved it 69 to 47. 

But the legislation was immediately hit with a tidal wave of progressive propaganda. If you read mainstream media outlets and their reporting on the bill, you’ll see the same phrase “Don’t Say Gay” — repeated over, and over, and over again

President Biden himself came out to condemn the bill, telling the LGBTQI+ community that he has their back. The White House called it an attempt by conservatives to make growing up “harder for young people,” while the Department of Education warned Florida that “schools receiving federal funding must follow federal civil rights law.”

Activists are playing the same tune. Florida Democrats traipsed through their state capitol building shouting “Gay! Gay! Gay!” in response to the legislation. Florida students followed suit — staging massive walkouts and echoing chants of “We Say Gay.”

A cursory scroll of social media or primetime cable networks might leave one wondering how such a deeply unpopular bill could gain any support, let alone enough support to become law. 

But rather than opposing the measure as codified homophobic drivel, the vast majority of Americans actually support the key functions of the legislation. According to an exclusive Daily Wire poll of 1,000 Americans, “64% support the Florida bill’s ban on classroom instructions on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3.”

Another 79% said parents should be the ones initiating conversations with their children regarding sexual education, while just 19% said parents should not be entitled to information regarding their child’s sexual identity or gender identity at school. 

The majority of Americans know what the Florida state legislature knows: That there is nothing evil or prudish or hateful about not wanting to have woke sexual worldviews forced on five year olds.

There’s nothing wrong with questioning what your children are learning about deeply controversial ideas. The real question is why so many are pushing so hard to share those ideas with young children. 

Ask yourself who the evil ones are in this equation. 

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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