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Tags: florida | miami | school board | sex education | textbooks | parental rights

Miami School Board Rejects Sex Ed Textbooks Over Parental Rights Law Concerns

ron desantis displays the signed parental rights in education bill
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis displays the signed Parental Rights in Education, aka the Don't Say Gay bill, flanked by elementary school students during a news conference at Classical Preparatory school in Shady Hills on March 28. (Douglas R. Clifford/AP)

By    |   Friday, 22 July 2022 09:32 AM EDT

A Florida school board has rejected two proposed sex education books over concerns they violate the state's "Parental Rights in Education" bill.

The Miami-Dade School Board — which represents the country's fourth largest school district — voted 5-4 on Wednesday to not allow the books in the classroom.

The board's vote reversed an earlier decision to approve the sexual education textbooks for middle and high school students.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in March signed a bill that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. It also prohibits these lessons for older students unless they are "age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate."

"Some of the chapters are extremely troublesome," said board member Mari Tere Rojas, who voted against the books, Politico reported.

"I do not consider them to be age appropriate. In my opinion, they go beyond what the state standards are."

The textbooks — middle school and high school editions of "Comprehensive Health Skills" — cover topics that include pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, and understanding sexuality. They also cover drugs and alcohol, stress management, and relationships.

County Citizens Defending Freedom's local executive director Alex Serrano said that "significant portions" of the materials proposed "may violate Florida state law" and "much of the content is not age appropriate, usurps parental rights, and is scientifically inaccurate and not factual."

"Matters related to their sexuality, to their health, to their human reproduction, to abortion, to access to plan B pills, matters related to contraceptive methods," Serrano said, NBC 6 reported.

After the board voted 5-3 in April to adopt the textbooks, the decision was met with a number of petitions opposing the move.

Wednesday's vote came after three hours of public comment.

"Teachers that will be providing this material to children, which is illegal in the state of Florida, and the board that votes to adopt this, in the end — the country, the state, and your community, will consider all of you groomers," Lourdes Galban told the board during public comment, Politico said.

Under Florida law, any parent can opt their child out of sex education lessons.

"Our current … process defends parents and their children who do not want to be exposed to this," said Steve Gallon III, the board's vice chair who supported the sex education textbooks. "But we cannot deny parents who want to have access for their children to this critically important information."

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A Florida school board has rejected two proposed sex education books over concerns they violate the state's "Parental Rights in Education" bill.
florida, miami, school board, sex education, textbooks, parental rights
Friday, 22 July 2022 09:32 AM
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