A Florida Board of Education proposal could expand the Parental Rights in Education law related to classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity, ABC News reported on Wednesday.
The proposal would expand the current law, which forbids teaching in the classroom of sexual orientation and gender identity in prekindergarten to third grade, to ban such lessons as well in grades 4 through 12 "unless such instruction is either expressly required by state academic standards ... or is part of a reproductive health course or health lesson for which a student's parent has the option to have his or her student not attend."
A hearing on the proposed policy is scheduled to be held on April 19.
The White House was quick to slam the proposed rule expansion.
"It's wrong. It's completely, utterly wrong," press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing.
"Make no mistake, this is part of a disturbing and dangerous trend that we’re seeing across the country of legislation that are anti-LGBTQI+, anti-trans in a way we have not seen in some time,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’re talking about students, we’re talking about educators we’re talking about just individuals.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the original Parental Rights in Education law in March 2022.
Critics called the legislation the "Don't Say Gay" law, claiming it is meant to shun LGBTQ identities from schoolroom content and discussion.
Laura McGinnis of the LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAG told ABC News that "everyone has a sexual orientation and a gender identity," adding that "it looks like this rule would make it impossible to do much instruction at all."
The law is part of a larger pattern by Republicans in many states to combat what they contend is the teaching of liberal theories to students — including lessons on race, sexual orientation, and gender, according to The Hill.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.